A student wore an orange jumpsuit with ‘Freddie Gray’ taped on the back to a Halloween party
(CNN) — A South Carolina university is looking into whether a student broke its code of conduct when he wore an orange jumpsuit with the name “Freddie Gray” taped on it to a Halloween party.
The College of Charleston student wore the outfit to an off-campus party and posed for photos. One showed the student, who is white, pointing to the name with his thumbs.
Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died in 2015 in Baltimore after suffering a neck injury while in police custody. His death spurred massive protests and riots in Baltimore.
Three Baltimore police officers were acquitted at trial of charges related to Gray’s death and prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining three officers. The Justice Department also declined to prosecute the six.
“These people make fun of the gender, ethnicity — basically it is disgusting,” said Detrickt Manning, who provided the photo taken at the party to CNN. He said he received it from someone who was there.
The photo was originally posted to Facebook without the caption “ur going to jail tonight.” Someone added the caption about five hours later, Manning said.
Calls for expulsion
The College of Charleston is a public university in the coastal city. Spokesman Mike Robertson told CNN the student is still enrolled while the school investigates whether his costume calls for disciplinary action.
“In no way does this behavior reflect our College of Charleston core values, especially as it relates to diversity, community and respect for the individual student,” the college president, Glenn McConnell, said in a statement.
The college’s Black Student Union said the student should be expelled.
“The death of Mr. Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr. was detrimental and causes emotional distress amongst the Black communities and those who understand the outcomes of continuous acts of police brutality in America,” it said in a statement. “As students of the College of Charleston, we come to you in solidarity to ask that the students involved in this incident be reprimanded through indefinite expulsion.”
The student’s family told CNN they have retained a lawyer but the lawyer didn’t return CNN’s request for a comment.
The Freddie Gray costume was not an isolated incident. In Baltimore, several private school students were photographed posing in similar Halloween costumes, the Baltimore Sun reported.