The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is filing charges against two University of Wisconsin-Parkside students for disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer following an investigation of alleged racial hate crimes that were discovered to be a hoax.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said former UW-Parkside student Khalilah Ford, who confessed to creating the death list and noose, and another former student are both being charged with disorderly conduct. Ford was also expelled from UW-Parkside.
Both students are also being charged with obstructing an officer because they lied in their initial statements to the investigators, he added.
“The students caused a huge, huge controversy on campus there, so that’s why they’re being charged with this,” Beth said.
In early February, a UW-Parkside student reported she found two nooses and a threatening note containing a racially charged hit list in the university’s residence halls. The student later confessed in questioning she made the hit list because she was not satisfied with the initial response to the noose.
When the sheriff’s department was first notified of the incident, seven detectives were assigned to work on the case to find answers about who was involved and where the evidence came from.
Once the hate crime was determined to be a hoax, one detective remained on the case to answer unresolved questions from the investigation, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
Beth said the 41-page report completed Friday discusses the findings of questions that arose during the investigation. Some of the inquiries included where the rubber bands that created one of the nooses came from, as well as where the second noose and hit list came from, Beth said. However, answers were not found.
UW-Parkside is also making progress in working together to overcome the results of the incident.
In a statement from UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford, she reiterated that any form of hate would not be tolerated at UW-Parkside. She said she is proud of the students’ response to fight against any intolerance of diversity.
“Now, more than ever, I ask for your continued support of and respect for one another as we begin the healing process, and as we continue to focus on making the University of Wisconsin-Parkside a great place to learn and live,” Ford said in the statement.