A number of the 100 fraternity brothers from Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the now-defunct University of Oklahoma fraternity in Norman, Oklahoma, have received death threats after the release of a racist video. The video of the brothers singing racial slurs was posted online earlier this week, and on Friday, a lawyer for the chapter’s board confirmed the fraternity members were receiving threats.
Stephen Jones, the chapter’s attorney, said other members have been physically assaulted after the incident, though he wouldn’t reveal details.
On Friday, Jones said he had been retained by alumni advisers for the chapter to “assist in evaluating certain legal issues and other matters that may impact the local chapter of SAE.”
The fraternity currently has no plans to bring a lawsuit against the university, which closed the fraternity house after disbanding it. The local fraternity has also had its charter revoked by the national SAE chapter.
The University of Oklahoma also expelled two fraternity members, but Jones is not representing them.
The nine-second video showed the frat members yelling a racist chant that made references to lynching.
Jones said here is "no justification for what occurred. Zero.” However, he’s involved in order to protect the First Amendment rights of the brothers.
"We are committed to following the due diligence and protocols that we have set forth in our fraternity laws," the national SAE office told members of the press after the news conference, "as they are designed to enable us to make deliberate, thoughtful decisions that reflect our commitment to our standards and to our members."
The office also confirmed it was investigating other incidents that may be taking place within other chapters.
"Several other incidents with chapters or members have been brought to the attention of the headquarters ... and each of those instances will be investigated," the office said in a statement, adding that some of the occurrences took place more than two decades ago.