Racially charged threats against Cal State Long Beach students are investigated

Cal State Long Beach police have stepped up patrols in the wake of racially charged threats made over the internet and in menacing fliers that targeted Latino and Jewish students, officials said Saturday.

The incidents included a threat to shoot leaders of the La Raza Student Assn. posted on the group’s Facebook page, and images of Adolf Hitler along with the phrase “finish what he started” taped to doors and windows in and around the campus multicultural center, said campus spokeswoman Terri Carbaugh.

“These incidents were intended to provoke and intimidate, so there is some fear among students,” she said. “Our campus police are increasing patrols and on the lookout for suspicious behavior.”

Officials do not believe the fliers that have been showing up on campus over the past six months and the threat made on Facebook last Saturday are related.

Campus President Jane Close Conoley, in an email sent to students and employees Wednesday, said the incidents had been reported to the FBI and were being “aggressively investigated” by the Cal State Long Beach University Police Department.

“I’m saddened to report this to you,” she said, “but I want you to know that each incident reflecting intolerance and hate is being reported to the FBI and is receiving priority attention from University Police.”

“While one of the great strengths of our democracy is that free speech — which includes ‘hate speech’ — is protected under the First Amendment,” she added, “direct and credible threats of violence are not tolerated. University Police will immediately intervene to protect our community from harm.”

louis.sahagun@latimes.com


UPDATES:

1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with new comments from a campus official.

This article was originally published at 11:50 a.m.

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