MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY (Reuters) – Mississippi State’s top university dean resigned on Tuesday after video of her allegedly stomping and kicking an unconscious man in her official office went viral, prompting calls for a public inquiry into the matter.
The incident on Dec. 8 at the university’s campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, sparked widespread condemnation, including from the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP.
“Mississippi State University should never have to put up with this,” University President Eric Hyman said in a statement.
“This is unacceptable.
We must hold all members of our university accountable.”
Hyman added that the school had “learned a lot from this incident.”
“We are committed to addressing any and all issues in a responsible manner,” he said.
The video, posted on social media by a former student who said he was assaulted by Hyman, showed Hyman kicking the victim in the face and head as he lay on the ground unconscious on a floor in a darkened hallway.
He then walked away and appeared to turn away from the student, who was then restrained and put into an office chair.
The university’s president did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Hyman was first elected to the position in 2017 and has served in that role for nearly two decades.
The investigation into the incident began after a woman, who identified herself as a former colleague, wrote to the university saying she had seen Hyman kick a student in the head, chest and buttocks at least twice in the hallway on the night of the alleged assault.
The woman, a first-year law student who did not want to be identified, told Reuters she had watched the video twice and asked a campus police officer if there was a video showing the incident.
She said Hyman did not respond to her questions.
The department said in September that it was investigating the incident, and Hyman was asked to resign.
The University of Mississippi is a public institution that requires students to pay tuition and fees and provides financial aid to students.
The school said in its statement that it will conduct a thorough and thorough investigation and that it would “review all information and evidence that may exist to determine what steps are necessary to ensure the safety of all students.”
The university said it would also provide financial aid for students who had financial aid issues.
The NAACP said it was calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to “immediately initiate a full and complete investigation into this incident”.
“This is not a time to be embarrassed,” the group said in the statement.
“There is no place for racism on campus and no place to hide from a public university.”
The American Civil Rights Union said in an online statement that the incident “troubles us all.”
“As Mississippi’s most diverse institution, it is our obligation to stand with our students, families, and colleagues who have been the victims of this heinous crime,” the statement said.
It also called on Bryant to investigate the incident and “take swift and appropriate action to prevent such incidents from occurring again.”
“The civil rights of all Mississippians are under attack and this is not an issue that should be left to the hands of a few bad apples,” said the statement from the organization.
“As the governor of Mississippi, it behooves you to do all you can to ensure this never happens again.”