UPDATED: 4 Admit To Painting Racist Graffiti At NC State

Four people have admitted spray-painting racist graffiti targeting President-elect Barack Obama on a tunnel wall at North Carolina State University.

The graffiti appeared early Wednesday in the Free Expression Tunnel, where studnets are encouraged to speak their minds. It was painted over positive messages about Obama.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that university
police spokesman Jon Barnwell said the U.S. Secret Service assisted
in the investigation because of the threatening nature of the graffiti, which said "Shoot Obama" and used a racial epithet.

Barnwell said Secret Service agents searched the residences of the four and determined there was no threat to Obama. The four will not be charged, but could face university action, including expulsion.

Officials would not identify the four, and would not say if they were students.

Officials at North Carolina State University are working to figure out who wrote disparaging comments about President-elect Barack Obama in a tunnel designated for free speech.

N.C. State police Capt. Jon Barnwell said someone used spray paint to write comments about Obama that bordered on threatening. The Free Expression Tunnel was built in 1939 to allow people to express their first-amendment rights.

Barnwell said someone noticed the writing before classes began Wednesday.

N.C. State officials responded by painting the tunnel white, saying the negative expressions had gone over the edge of what was acceptable. Barnwell said anyone with information on who left the messages is asked to contact campus police.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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