A white University of Missouri police officer is public enemy No. 1 after a photo emerged of him in blackface as rapper Flavor Flav, campus officials said.
Officer Marcus Collins of the MU Police Department was terminated immediately on Tuesday after university officials said he admitted that the photo — featuring Flavor Flav’s iconic oversize clock necklace and Collins’ darkened skin — depicted him prior to his employment with the department.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated at Mizzou, and we understand how this impacts our entire community profoundly,” Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said in a statement. “Racism, hate and insensitive behavior have no place on our campus. We are committed to our values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, and to making our campus a place where everyone feels welcome and protected.”
Messages seeking additional comment from Collins and a university spokesman were not immediately returned Wednesday, but school officials told the Columbia Daily Tribune that Collins was swiftly let go after consulting with high-ranking officials at the 30,000-student public research university.
The newspaper, meanwhile, has reported that it received the undated image via an anonymous source.
“Once we were able to verify it was Collins in the photo and Collins acknowledged that, shortly after a discussion with top university officials, he was terminated,” spokesman Christian Basi told the newspaper.
Collins was hired by university police in January 2018, Basi said.
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