YPSILANTI TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - Racist graffiti was found across the campus at Eastern Michigan University sparked multiple protests.
Now police say an African-American former student was behind it all - and a feeling of relief is on the school's campus.
“It’s really a shame that they inspired so much fear in people that they don’t know," said Tyler Rush. "It doesn’t matter race or gender. Everyone was a little afraid last year.”
There was also of a bit of surprise when they found out former student Eddie Curlan has been charged with three counts of malicious destruction of property.
The 29-year-old allegedly spray-painted KKK and the n-word around campus.
Police said they put a lot into the investigation with more than 60 people interviewed and a reward of $10,000 was offered.
More than 1,200 hours of video from more than 100 campus cameras was reviewed, as well as video from nearby businesses. In addition, nearly 20 search warrants were executed. All of which led them to Curlan who is currently serving a 1 to 5 year sentence for receiving stolen property.
“Why do you have such low self-esteem? It’s like looking down upon yourself," said Roop Pallye.
The first episode of vandalism was discovered in Sept. 2016, "KKK" spray-painted at King Hall. The second time happened at Ford Hall in Oct. of 2016 when they found the words "Leave n-word" on the exterior wall.
A third instance of a racial slur was found in a dorm bathroom. At the time when the vandalism was taking place, students say it changed the atmosphere on campus.
“It dramatically changed people's interactions even just walking down the street walking across campus," Rush said.
There were talks of expelling some students who participated in the marches. Now new students tell us the faculty makes a point to address the changes in a positive way.