White Student Gets Death Threats After Black Teen Frames Him

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Police say a black college student framed a white classmate with fake “no blacks” party invites. Although the young man was doxed and received death threats over the hoax, police gave a startling update.

Austin Hunter
Austin Hunter received death threats after a black classmate framed him with a fake racist party invite. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

A black student at East Carolina University was arrested and charged after evidence led police to believe he is the perpetrator of a fake hate crime. However, Austin Hunter, the white classmate who was targeted by the hoax, is receiving harsher consequences than the police are willing to bring against the man who set him up.

Police say that James Daniel Edwards, 19, turned himself in after investigators uncovered evidence that he is responsible for fake invitations that sparked outrage and the threat of violence at East Carolina University. Authorities confirmed that Edwards authored the announcement of an on-campus party, which led to the endangerment of a classmate.

The fake invite stipulated that “no blacks” were allowed at the party and listed Austin Hunter’s name and phone at the end. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

WITN-TV reports that Edwards created an anonymous post on the social media platform Yik Yak inviting attendees to a Theta Chi rush party. However, the invitation stipulated that “no blacks” were allowed to attend, prompting an immediate backlash on campus.

“Theta Chi Rush party. PNMs (potential new members) and girls only. No blacks. Girls $5 @door,” the message read. At the end of the invite, the name and personal phone number of white classmate Austin Hunter was listed, directing all subsequent outrage toward the unsuspecting frat member.

“It’s caused a lot of stress and anxiety,” Hunter said. “To be accused of something that I didn’t do, that really sucks. My name and number were posted in the college newspaper, and I was being harassed with calls and texts and I even received death threats.”

James Daniel Edwards, 19, was charged with misdemeanor cyberstalking. (Photo Credit: Pitt County Jail)

After being doxed, Hunter has received death threats and relentless harassment by those believing he is racist toward black people. Despite the message clearly targeting Hunter because of his race and attempting to frame him as a racist, police aren’t charging Edwards with a hate crime. In fact, if he’s even convicted, he’ll be getting away with little more than a slap on the wrist.

After a 2-months-long investigation, Greenville Police charged Edwards with Class 2 misdemeanor cyberstalking. Per the state of North Carolina, the maximum sentence he can receive is 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. He was also issued a $1,000 bond. Edwards has refused to comment on the matter.

“If you have any type of social media app, there is a digital footprint,” Hunter said. “There is a way to track this type of activity and behavior. So, I would certainly caution anybody that’s looking to utilize anonymous apps that we can find you.”

Police have refused to charge James Daniel Edwards with a hate crime, despite the fact that he targeted his victim based on race. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Edwards’ charge doesn’t take into account that he is black and deliberately targeted a white student for a crime that was racist in nature. Instead, police are choosing to focus on the fact that Edwards is a member of Pi Lambda Phi, a nearby fraternity, as the reason behind the hoax.

“The motive is still under investigation; however, the post was made during Rush Week, when fraternities try to recruit members, so we believe that was a factor,” Kristen Hunter, a spokesperson for the Greenville Police Department, told McClatchy News in an email.

Still, Hunter is suffering the ramifications of Edwards’ malicious actions. Aside from the threats of death and constant harassment, his fraternity has been accused of harboring a racial bias, possibly compromising its ability to recruit new members.

Authorities are focusing on the idea that the incident was merely a rivalry between fraternities. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Hunter had to endure persecution for two months thanks to Edwards’ actions. His reputation was damaged, his life was endangered, and his peace of mind was stripped from him. Still, Edwards receives a misdemeanor that will likely result in no jail time but only a small fine.

Framing someone as a racist, doxing them, and inciting outrage toward someone should be considered a racial hate crime. Hunter was targeted because he is white, and the intent was to paint him as a racist. Regardless of whether the motivation was fraternal rivalry, the means were racial in nature and should be treated as such.