Update: Racist vandalism suspects post bond

Fitzgerald, pictured left and Tucker, pictured right, could be charged with a hate crime

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.

Two University of Missouri students suspected of racist vandalism bonded out of Boone County Jail.

Sean Fitzgerald and Zachary Tucker TMs, both NROTC memebers, first court appearance is scheduled for March 29.

The Boone County prosecutor TMs office has until that date to file formal charges. The prosecutor TMs office doesn TMt expect it to take that long; however, they are waiting for reports from the MU police department.

UPDATE: 10:15 am University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton has temporarily suspended the two students arrested on suspicion of hates crimes.

Deaton released the following statement: "Based on the information available to me, and in accordance with the University of Missouri TMs Student Conduct Code (as outlined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 200), I have determined it is in the best interest of the university community to temporarily suspend those students, Sean D. Fitzgerald and Zachary E. Tucker, who have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident that occurred on Feb. 26 at the front entrance of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, pending the outcome of the formal student conduct process."

Original Story:

University of Missouri Police have arrested two men for spreading cotton balls in front of the campus TM black culture center.Freshmen Sean D. Fitzgerald, 19, and Senior Zachary E. Tucker, 21, have been arrested on one count each of Felony Tampering and could face enhance penalties under Missouri TMs Hate Crime law.

Fitzgerald is a NROTC member, accoridng to Mizzou Live Wire Blog, and a political science major from Kearney, Mo. Tucker is a psychology major from St. Louis.2nd Degree Tampering in a Class D felony, carrying a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison.Police say an anonymous tip led them to make the arrests. The two were taken into custody around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.On Friday, February 26th students woke find cotton balls spread out in front of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. The apparent reference to slavery came as Black History Month was coming to a close.Witnesses told police that they saw two light skinned individuals dressed in dark clothing running from the area between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m.The incident caused outrage on campus. Monday night, more than 300 people showed up for a campus to discuss what happened."We all know what happened here is a travesty, and we are not happy about it," said one student. Students have denounced the dumping cotton balls on school property, and called on Mizzou to better promote diversity.It was an event looking to divide students on campus, said Student Body President Tim Noce. That was my main concern.Many participants said the cotton ball incident was indicative of broader racial tensions on campus.The message from the university to students that we will rise beyond this, that we will work with them to ensure reinforcement of those core values of the university, said Chancellor Dr. Brady J. Deaton.