An ex-University of Mississippi student accused of placing a noose around the neck of a statue commemorating the school's first black student will face federal civil rights charges, the Department of Justice says. 

Last February, a noose and Georgia's former flag featuring the Confederate symbol were draped around the James Meredith statue on Ole Miss's campus. According to the Washington Post, the DOJ determined that Graeme Phillip Harris and his accomplices sought to "threaten and intimidate African American students and employees at the university." 

Furthermore, the Post reports that Harris, the lone person identified by name, has been charged with threat of force to intimidate African-American students due to their race and conspiring to violate civil rights. 

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the act "an insult to all Americans and a violation of our most strongly-held values." 

The Post adds that both the university's police department and the FBI have open investigations regarding the incident.

[via Washington Post]