State Attorney, police investigating racist post against FSU’s Willie Taggart

'We’re investigating the post and anything beyond that, any threats against Coach Taggart,' State Attorney Jack Campbell said.
Florida State finished 5-7 in its first season under coach Willie Taggart. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Florida State finished 5-7 in its first season under coach Willie Taggart. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Published November 26
Updated November 26

Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating a racist social media post and "any threats" made against Florida State football coach Willie Taggart.

"We're investigating the post and anything beyond that, any threats against Coach Taggart," State Attorney Jack Campbell said Monday. "We're going to follow where it goes."

Campbell said his office, the Second Judicial Circuit, is working with the Leon County Sheriff's Office and the Florida State University Police Department after the post was reported to them Saturday, the day the Seminoles' 5-7 season ended in a blowout home loss to rival Florida.

The Facebook post shows an image of Taggart's head copied on a hanging body in a black-and-white lynching photo. Taggart is the first black head football coach in FSU history.

The image appeared on the account of a fan named Tom Shand, who backed up his sentiment in a subsequent online comment: "I'm dead (expletive) serious. This is how far I'm willing to go to get rid of this clown!!!"

RELATED: FSU president John Thrasher defends Willie Taggart after racist social media post

The authorities' investigation could probe whether the post and comment represent a threat of violence against Taggart.

"There's an active criminal investigation," Campbell said. "Certainly that is involved. I'm not going to further narrow what we are and are not looking at or try to get it down to one issue."

Campbell said it's impossible to say how long the inquiry will take.

"An investigation's begun," Campbell said. "We're working with our law enforcement partners to see that followed through."

Shand has been fired from his job, a Hilton spokesperson said on Twitter.

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