Artist Group Takes Credit for Vandalism at Winthrop

Ben Tillman was a former governor and senator.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) - Winthrop University says an artist group has taken responsibility for vandalism where black stockings were hung from trees outside a campus building. 

Vice-President of Student Relations  L. Jeffery Perez issued an updated statement Monday afternoon.

"The Winthrop University Police investigation of a display near Tillman Hall on Sunday has yielded a claim of responsibility by a group who assets its action is a protest over the Tillman name on the main administration building. The imagery used has been deeply hurtful and threatening to many on campus. This incident will be fully investigated, and those responsible will be held accountable." 

A Winthrop University Police report says 12 stockings were found Sunday outside Tillman Hall, with a sign taped over a plaque reading "Tillman's Legacy." There was no security camera footage.

Tillman was a South Carolina governor and a U.S. senator. He helped lead a mob that killed four blacks in July 1876 and said African-Americans were barbarians and savages.

There have been calls by at both Clemson University, which also has a Tillman Hall, and Winthrop to change the name of the structures. However, Winthrop can't change the name of Tillman Hall without legislative approval.


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