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MU officials receive continued call to remove Thomas Jefferson statue; Friday afternoon protest

MU university of Missouri protest jesse hall
ABC 17 News
Protesters call for the removal of a Thomas Jefferson statue inside a University of Missouri building.
MU protest Jesse Hall
ABC 17 News
MUPD officers were called to Jesse Hall on MU's campus Friday afternoon after protesters chanted inside the building calling for the removal of a Thomas Jefferson Statue.
MU University of Missouri protest
ABC 17 News
Protesters call for the removal of a Thomas Jefferson statue at the center of MU's campus Friday, Oct. 2.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The University of Missouri continues to receive calls for the removal of a Thomas Jefferson statue located at the center of the university's campus.

University officials say an investigation will be opened looking into the protesters and some could face disciplinary action.

Friday afternoon, protesters rallied at Francis Quadrangle and inside Jesse Hall.

University of Missouri police officers asked the protesters to leave after the rallygoers started chanting inside the building.

A Twitter account called Mizzou 600 scheduled Friday's protest.

A tweet sent Wednesday said Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves and that the statue 'is more protected than Black students.'

Protesters called for justice and that the university respond to racism students have experienced on-campus.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the University of Missouri Office of Civil Rights and Title IX will investigate any and all reports of racism experienced on-campus.

The spokesman included the statue will not be removed at this time.

"(The university) made a decision back in June and that has not changed," Basi said.

University of Missouri System President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi also said in a release earlier this year the statue will not be moved.

The MU Office of Accountability will investigate the protesters and students could face disciplinary action, Basi said.

"We respect the freedom of speech and the right to protest at MU, but, as has been defined throughout history, the university can set reasonable time, place and manor restrictions for protests and those restrictions include not disrupting university business inside a campus building," Basi said.

ABC 17 News tried to speak with the group but organizers said they would not talk to members of the media.

In July, a former student was arrested for "tampering" with the statue.

Requests for the statue's removal have gone on for years, including when protests were sparked over issues of racism back in 2015.

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

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