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A nationally-known fraternity at the University of Mississippi has suspended three of its members who are suspected of defiling a statue of the school’s first Black student. A trio of Sigma Phi Epsilon members allegedly hung a noose around the statue of civil rights pioneer James Meredith and are currently facing expulsion.

NBC News reported on the suspension of the three 19-year-old men who are suspected of vandalizing the statue. Meredith, who still lives in the state, is a beloved figure at the school and news of the racially-motivated vandalism angered many of the Black students on the campus. NBC News has more.

From NBC News:

A national fraternity indefinitely suspended its chapter at the University of Mississippi after three members were suspected of hanging a noose around a statue of the school’s first black student.

“It is embarrassing that these men had previously identified with our Fraternity,” Sigma Phi Epsilon CEO Brian C. Warren Jr. said in a statement provided to NBC News on Saturday.

Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Alpha Chapter also voted to expel the suspected vandals who are thought to be involved and decided to turn their names over to university and investigative authorities, the statement said.

The men are suspected of not only hanging a noose around the statue, but also for placing an old Georgia flag that features the Confederate Flag on the structure. The school’s police chief said that they will seek charges against the men, despite their unwillingness to cooperate with authorities.

Meredith made history by becoming the first Black student at the segregated school in 1962. Meredith was motivated by President John F. Kennedy and inspired other Black students by way of his bold stance.

Photo: AP Photo/The Daily Mississippian, Thomas Graning