Three Black female students from SUNY University of Albany claim they were racially harassed and physically assaulted by nearly a dozen white male and female students on a local bus early Saturday morning, News 10 ABC reported.
The three students told the police that they were sitting in the back of the CDTA bus when they got into a verbal argument with 10-14 white students sitting in front of them. As the argument got heated, the white students allegedly called the Black women racial slurs and then a physical fight broke out.
According to the young Black women, they defended themselves as the white students began punching and kicking them. One of the women said that even falling on the floor, didn’t stop several white male passengers from repeatedly kicking her. After getting off at their stop on campus, the women immediately went to Albany Medical Center to have their multiple injuries, including a possible concussion, lacerations and scratches, looked at, The Albany Times Union reported.
One of the women, Asha Burwell, a junior from Long Island, took to Twitter to describe what happened:
Burwell even recognized a few of her attackers:
When she called campus police, they were less than concerned:
In response to social media blowing up around this incident and numerous complaints to administration, a university-wide email was circulated on the afternoon of Jan. 30.
The school’s president Robert Jones wrote that his is “deeply concerned, saddened and angry about this incident.” He added, “There is no place in the UAlbany community for violence, no place for racial intolerance and no place for gender violence.”
Not everyone was impressed with Jones’ concern, believing that the lives of Black students really don’t matter at UAlbany.
According to the Associated Press, the police are “looking into the incident as a possible hate crime,” yet no one has been arrested at that this time. The good news: The bus had camera surveillance recorded and the police have asked CDTA officials to send that footage to them, the Albany Times noted.
Even if justice is served, it doesn’t erase the trauma that these three women had to experience.
Students will be holding a rally on Monday, Feb. 1 at 5:30pm to address this incident, the trend of racially motivated harassment on campus and the administration’s lack of response to the issues that students of color face.