Two students were expelled from the Omega Omega Chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity Monday for a video that circulated social media feeds Sunday night appearing to show the students mocking George Floyd’s death.
The Snapchat video shows the two former fraternity members and three other people involved in an act of hazing and features a caption reading “Let’s do some George Floyd s--- to ‘em.” The two students’ names have not been released by the fraternity or the university.
In the video, one young man is standing over two others, who are face-down and appear to have their hands tied behind their backs. What appears to be two other male students sit near the men being hazed, one photographing the incident on his phone.
George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed May 25 during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers after one knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while three others looked on. The incident, which was caught on camera by a bystander, has sparked a week and a half of nationwide protests both peaceful and violent against police brutality.
The four officers involved in the death were fired after the video surfaced, and Derek Chauvin, the man who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added a more serious charge of second-degree murder without intent and charged the other three former officers Wednesday.
The three men are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
In a statement released Monday, Sigma Chi Omega Omega Chapter President Matthew Nichols, a junior, said the incident in the video was not connected to the group, but the chapter was expelling the students for acting “in a manner inconsistent” with the fraternity’s values.
“The Omega Omega chapter of Sigma Chi is proud to embrace diversity, inclusion and equality as cornerstones for our chapter,” Nichols said. “We hope the two former members will take to heart the lessons learned from their behavior and will actively work to repair the damage created by their actions.”
UofA officials released a response Tuesday to the initial tweet, which has garnered over 2,150 views on Twitter as of June 2, condemning the video.
“Mocking a senseless tragedy is not something to take lightly and this incident is under investigation,” officials said in the statement
Should the investigators conclude that the students violated the Code of Student Life, they will face sanctions as any student in violation would, according to the statement. The release of student disciplinary action by the university is limited by federal student privacy laws.
Twenty-three representatives of campus student organizations have signed a June 1 open letter addressed to Chancellor Joe Steinmetz calling for the expulsion of the two UA students involved in the video. Signatories include Associated Student Government President Julia Nall, Black Students Association President Krislyn Smith, and 14 members of the National Panhellenic Council.
“We call for the expulsion of the two students involved in the video, the suspension of their Fraternity, and finally a statement from Greek Life, the Fraternity, and the University emphasizing their condemnation of these vulgar actions,” the student leaders wrote.
An online petition on change.org featuring the full text of the open letter has received over 15,000 signatures as of June 3.
This is an ongoing report. The Arkansas Traveler will update this article as information is made available.