University of Missouri fires campus cop over blackface photo

The Columns and Jesse Hall, University of Missouri - Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri officials say they have fired a campus police officer after verifying he was in a photo in blackface.

The university said Tuesday in a news release that Marcus Collins acknowledged he was the person in the picture and that it was taken before he was hired with the Police Department in January 2018.

A message left for Collins was not immediately returned.

University spokesman Christian Basi says Collins is the only person in the photo. Basi says he doesn't know when or where the picture was taken or other details. He says university officials received the photo on Tuesday.

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright says the university does not tolerate such behavior and understands how the incident can have a serious impact on the whole community.