South Bay News

NAACP to hold news conference at SJSU over hate crime case

Sunday, November 24, 2013
San Jose State University Rally held after three SJSU students charged with hate crime Students at San Jose State University

Civil rights activists are calling on prosecutors to file felony hate-crime charges against four white students accused of harassing a black student at San Jose State University.

NAACP leaders are urging Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen to bring felony charges against the white students, who currently face misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges.

"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."

According to a police report, the white students taunted their freshman dorm-mate with racial slurs, outfitted their dormitory suite with a Confederate flag, barricaded the victim in his room and placed a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck.

In a statement Saturday, Rosen says he believes his office has filed the "appropriate charges in this case, based upon the evidence," according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"We have deep respect for the NAACP," Rosen added. "We share its abhorrence for hate crimes and share its desire for justice."

University officials have suspended the four white students, condemned their actions and promised a full investigation of the case, which prompted a campus protest last week.

The students charged are Logan Beaschler and Collin Warren, both 18; Joseph Bomgardner, 19; and an unidentified juvenile.

A friend of the victim said he's glad they're not around, so his friend can re-focus on being young and going to class.

"He's a really nice kid," said Kyle Carbone, the victim's friend. "I wouldn't expect this to happen to him. I don't know anybody who would be his enemy, which is really sad. And I hate, I don't like everything he has to go through now. I just hope this whole thing will end sooner than later and he can just go back to doing his normal thing."

Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement that he and California State University Chancellor Timothy White will closely monitor the situation "so that every student knows that these unconscionable acts will not be tolerated anywhere, anytime."

NAACP officials are planning a campus news conference Monday to condemn the racially charged actions and call on the university to conduct a thorough investigation into how the university housing department handled the situation.

ABC7 News contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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san jose, san jose state, SJPD, crime, hate crime, NAACP, south bay news
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