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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University has sent a message to students and staff today to update them about a criminal investigation into a racist incident reported in January. The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged a suspect with felonies for filing a false police report and several counts of disorderly conduct.

The initial report stated that students in a dorm were targeted with racial slurs, threats, and hostility on January 23, 2022. Police and the school’s Bias Incident Response Team became aware of the situation that happened in Woodland Hall and began an investigation into the incident.

The university says that the students originally named as suspects, in this case, have been cleared of any involvement. They were falsely accused, and the school, “is saddened by the harm that these students endured.”

“Although false reporting of racial and bias incidents is isolated and rare, this case should remind every member of our community how important it is to preserve and protect due process and fairness in our procedures and communications. Seeking and confronting the truth and acting in accord with the facts must be at the heart of a just community,” the University states in the message to the campus community.

No suspect has been named at this time. This is a developing story. More information will be posted as it comes into the FOX 2 Newsroom.