Shelter in place lifted after a threat over its Black Lives Matter mural

A “shelter in place” order at the University of North Carolina Asheville was lifted Friday evening after the university received a threatening email demanding that a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.



a car parked on the side of a road: Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.


© Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network
Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.

The university announced Friday morning that it was canceling all classes and campus activities for the day, advising residential students to stay in place and nonessential personnel to return home.

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Chancellor Nancy J. Cable said in a statement that the order was lifted at 7 p.m. Friday “in consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement.”

“Today has been a challenging time for UNC Asheville and I am grateful for your support and cooperation,” Cable said. “I encourage every member of our campus community to remain vigilant. Please take care of one another. We remain fully committed to our University values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Black Lives Matter.”

A safety alert sent by the university just after 8:30 a.m. Friday said that “several offices at the University received an email communicating a direct threat to members of the UNC Asheville community. The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over.”

“A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”

The university did not specify the details of the threat, but said in the alert that it would continue to update the campus community. Officials said the campus would remain closed at least until Saturday morning.

In another safety alert later on Friday afternoon, university officials said multiple law enforcement agencies were investigating the threat, along with campus police.

UNC Asheville is part of the state’s multi-campus public university system and has about 3,600 students, according to its website.

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