Civil rights leaders are pushing prosecutors to file felony charges against four white students who allegedly participated in hate crimes against a black student at San Jose State University.
According to a police report the students, who currently face misdemeanors hate crime and battery charges, taunted their African-American freshman roommate with racial slurs, placed a Confederate flag in their dorm, and put a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck.
“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. “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.”
Although NAACP leaders are urging the Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen to do more, Rosen stated that he believes he has already filed the appropriate charges in the case.
The California president of the NAACP assailed District Attorney Jeff Rosen for charging the three students with misdemeanor battery and hate crimes.
“This is a deeply disturbing, outrageous case and must be properly prosecuted as a felony in order to enforce hate crime victim rights,” said California President Alice Huffman.
Rosen responded with a statement that read:
“While we understand the outrage of those calling for even stiffer charges in this case, the charges are not a reflection of the degree of their racism. The charges are a reflection of their criminal conduct.”
University officials have suspended the four white students and plan to fully investigate the issue.