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Elliott Holliday said he was walking to his car early Sunday morning after hanging out with friends when he noticed something on it.
When he got to his car in the Wolf Village parking lot, he said he found cereal and a chocolate milk bottle on it. However, what really concerned him, he said, was an Afro pic and box of Popeyes fried chicken.
"Those two things are stereotypically related to African-American culture," Holliday said. "Because of that I have reason to believe that these are racially-motivated events. Of course I don't want to believe that they're racially motivated. I have hope that people are good-hearted, that this is just some dumb college prank. But I cannot ignore that these things have the potential to be racially-motivated events."
Holliday reported the incident to campus police and posted the photos on Facebook.
Major David Kelly with NC State University Police said other trash was also reportedly thrown in the parking lot and that they don't have evidence this was a hate crime.
He said there is no proof a crime was even committed, but that they're looking into it.
The school's bias incident response team is also investigating, Kelly said.
The trash was left behind two days after President Donald Trump's inauguration and Holliday doesn't think that was a coincidence.
"I do in my own personal opinion believe that the new President has liberated people from their fear of being judged for their racist ideas," Holliday said.
Although there is no proof Elliot was targeted because of his race, he said he's still upset.
"That somebody would do this to someone else just makes me upset and aggravated," Holliday said. "Everyone, white, black, Hispanic, no matter of your sexuality, your ethnicity, your creed, your gender, your origin. We all need to stand together in the fight against acts like this whether they be racially motivated or not. This type of behavior is unacceptable."
"This incident is disturbing and the university is acting swiftly to try and determine who is responsible," a spokesperson from NC State said in a statement. "University police are investigating, and we have engaged the university's Bias Incident Response Team for their review of the situation. NC State continually strives to ensure an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus."
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