Three black female university students who claimed to possess been the victims of a racially-motivated attack on a bus in Albany, Ny are now facing charges themselves for assault and misleading the police concerning the incident.
A statement released by SUNY Albany President Robert J. Jones notes that the three students who attend the State University of recent York in Albany told authorities they were called racial slurs and “harassed and assaulted” by a group of 10 or 12 white women and men while riding on the city bus after 1 a.m. on January 30 while bystanders looked on.
The initial claims were created during a 911 call, where among the women was believed to have told the dispatcher,?“It had been a racial crime. They were calling us [N-word] and all sorts of this stuff … And if someone doesn’t come and take this down or something like that, I’m going to call this news.”
All three from the women claimed to possess been injured because of the attack, with one student being transported to a local?hospital for unidentified injuries.
Since that point, the University Police Department have announced intends to charge the ladies,?Ariel Agudio, 20, Alexis Briggs, 20, and Asha Burwell, 20, with?assaulting a passenger around the bus and falsely reporting an incident.
In a statement, police said that the evidence that was gathered throughout their three-week investigation shows the first claims produced by the students?“that they were victimized were false” and that instead, it was found that they allegedly assaulted a 19-year-old female passenger around the bus.
The charges brought from the women have been based on interviews with all 35 of the passengers who were on board the bus at the time, as well as security camera footage and 4 videos taken of the incident with cell phones. ?In addition, it was found that the men who the ladies claimed had assaulted them were actually trying to split up the fight, writes Sarah Larimer for The Washington Post.
“I especially wish to point out that what happened on the bus wasn\’t a ‘hate crime,’” University Police Chief Frank Wiley said in a statement, based on the Albany Times-Union.
The claims produced by the women initially caused protests to erupt around the college campus, as hundreds arrived on the scene in support of the ladies, writes Daniella Silva for NBC News. ?The incident also triggered extensive media attention, together with a sympathetic tweet from?Hillary Clinton who wrote, “There’s no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.”
At the time,?SUNY Albany President Jones said he was?“deeply concerned, saddened and angry” over the alleged attack. ?After being notified of the charges by police, Jones said, “This condition is now in the hands of the criminal justice system,” he explained in the statement. “I look forward to the resolution of this case.”
“I ask the city for its continued patience and respect as the judicial process continues,” he added.
All three students are facing charges of assault within the third degree in addition to falsely reporting the incident within the third degree. ?Agudio faces additional charges of attempted assault in the third degree and attempted criminal mischief in the fourth degree.
The women are scheduled to look in court on February 29. ?If convicted of the assault charges they address one year in jail.