CMC campus sign vandalized to spell name of white supremacist group

A Claremont McKenna College sign.
The Claremont McKenna College sign was vandalized, according to an email from Campus Safety. (Yasmin Elqutami • The Student Life)

CW: Mention of a white supremacist organization

“KKK” was what a Claremont McKenna College sign displayed Friday night after being vandalized by an unknown male suspect just before midnight. Campus Safety officers responded to the incident “immediately” after receiving a report from a passerby, according to an email to students Friday. 

The ‘C’ in Claremont and the ‘C’ in McKenna were covered with black tape by the letter ‘K’ to spell KKK, the initials of a U.S. white supremacist group, according to the email. The sign is located on Sixth St. and Claremont Blvd, on the periphery of CMC’s campus. 

CMC CCTV footage recorded the suspect entering CMC property at 11:58 p.m. Thursday Feb. 18, according to a TCCS Campus Safety bulletin attached to the email. The suspect is seen exiting campus at 12:02 a.m. Friday Feb. 19 and departing East Bound on Sixth Street from Claremont Boulevard. He was out of frame of the CCTV camera located above the sign at 12:03 a.m. 

“If this suspect is observed on any of the Claremont Colleges Properties in the future, he will be subject to arrest for 602 P.C. Trespass,” the bulletin said. The FBI was notified of this incident and the Campus Safety report and video footage were forwarded to the Claremont Police Department, according to the email.

The bulletin described the man seen on CCTV footage as an adult male in his mid to late twenties, approximately 5’8 tall, with light color hair and an unknown ethnicity. The suspect was wearing an orange winter coat, light pants, a dark color shirt and shoes. 

This incident comes at the heels of CMC’s new Racial-Ethnic Understanding General Education requirement being proposed, as well as the Presidential Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America. CMC also held police training on its premises Feb. 18 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as a “way to enhance first responders’ ability to react effectively … should the campus experience an active violence incident,” a CMC spokesperson told TSL prior to the vandalism incident.

“We take this moment to affirm our values of inclusion, and our shared commitment to anti-racism,” the Friday email said. “The impact of these moments are felt widely in our community.”

The email asked anyone with information of the incident to contact CMC’s Director of Public Safety Brian Weir. Anonymous information can be provided through the CMCListens Reporting Link

“Every effort is being made to investigate this matter,” the email said. “Please reach out for support as needed.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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