Nov 25, 2013 03:49 PM EST
NAACP Calls for Felony Charges Against SJSU Students Currently Facing Hate Crime and Battery Misdemeanors
Days after a fourth white student at San Jose State University (SJSU) was arrested for hate crimes committed against one black student, the NAACP is calling for felonies to be charged against the perpetrators, instead of the misdemeanors currently levied.
Of the four students arrested and charged with misdemeanor hate crimes and battery, at least three were the young black student's roommates, the Associated Press reported. The fourth has not been identified because he was a minor at the time of arrest. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are not happy with the misdemeanor charges and want them intensified.
"This is not simple hazing or bullying. This is obviously racially based terrorism targeted at their African American roommate," Reverend Jethroe Moore II, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP said in a statement Saturday. "The community will not stand idly by and allow for any student of color to be terrorized simply due to the color of his skin."
Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen responded Saturday, saying he believes his office charged Logan Beaschler and Collin Warren, both 18; Joseph Bomgardner, 19 and the unnamed juvenile properly.
"Based upon the evidence," Rosen said, he and his office believe they have filed the "appropriate charges in this case."
"We have deep respect for the NAACP," Rosen said. "We share its abhorrence for hate crimes and share its desire for justice."
Since the news broke Wednesday of the alleged crimes against the young black student, both the AP and San Jose Mercury News have tried unsuccessfully to obtain comments from the arrested students. It is also unclear if they have legal counsel at this time.
The school already held a press conference stating no one had reported the crimes being committed and expressed disappointment in the students' actions. Shortly after, a group of students and faculty gathered on campus to rally in support of the young black student and for human rights in general.
NAACP officials said they too are planning a news conference on campus for Monday where they will reportedly start their own investigation to how the school handled the matter.
The black student's roommates reportedly hung a Confederate flag in the four-person suite, decorated the room with swastikas and photos of Adolf Hitler. They also called him by racially charged names and at one point confined him with a bicycle chain around his neck.
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