A printout of George Floyd’s toxicology report was found posted to a Black History Month display at Duke University in Durham.
The flyer, which insinuated that Floyd died because of drug use, was found just days before Derek Chauvin’s trial was set to begin. It was posted to a Black History Month display honoring victims of police brutality on Saturday, March 20, alongside an image of Floyd that included handwritten marks that said, “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good Man? Use of fake currency is a felony!”
Matt Mohn, a first-year student at Duke, said he first spotted the flyer on the third floor of Brown dormitory. “I did not believe what I was seeing,” he said. After he alerted his resident advisor, the printout was removed within 30 minutes.
Dean of Students John Blackshear, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanna McCullers met with students to discuss the incident, and said it was clear the flyer was intended to “distress the community.” Duke notified the entire student body of the incident by email and asked that anyone with information come forward.
Blackshear said the incident is under investigation and that evidence was turned over to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
The university called the flyer a “possible” violation of policies banning discrimination and harassment. If a student is found to be responsible for the flyer, disciplinary action will be taken against them.
“This communication follows the recommendation of the Summer 2020 Hate and Bias Working Group to provide more transparency to the student community in cases of anonymous acts of bias,” Blackshear and McCullers said in the letter to students.
Last year, a summer working group made up of students, faculty, and staff established a hate and bias policy to make the campus more inclusive.
The Hennepin County (MN) Medical Examiner said Floyd’s cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued restraint, and neck compression.”