San Jose State: No Hate Crime Convictions for Bike Lock Attack

Students march against alleged hate crimes against Donald Williams, Jr. at San Jose State university. (Photo: Google Images)

Students march against alleged hate crimes against Donald Williams, Jr. at San Jose State university.
(Photo: Google Images)

The Washington Post is reporting that white students at San Jose who hazed a black freshman student by calling him “three-5ths”, locking the claustrophobic student in a closet and locking a bike lock around his neck were not found guilty of hate crimes. The alleged crimes also included hanging a Confederate flag in the suite and writing the N-word on a white board which the white, male students refused to remove. The treatment of Donald Williams, Jr.  came to light when his parents visited the young man and discovered the racist memorabilia. Colin Warren, Logan Beaschler and Joseph “Brett” Bomgardner were found guilty of misdemeanor battery after “offensively touching” Williams during the bike-lock prank which occurred in November of 2013.

Yanan Wang writes:

“But the jury acquitted Bomgardner, 21, of misdemeanor commission of a hate crime by use of force and was deadlocked on hate crime charges against Warren and Beaschler, both 20, the Mercury News also reported.

The decision — by a jury of 6 men and 6 women, none of whom was African American — marks the beginning of the end for a case that prompted an investigation within San Jose State, an apology from the school president and the formation of a task force for combating racial discrimination on campus.

Since news of the harassment broke in 2013, the task force has made more than 50 recommendations and provided diversity training to dorm residents. The four students involved, including one charged as a juvenile, were expelled from the university…

But for those frustrated by the lack of hate crime convictions, the work on Williams’s case itself is far from done. Among these voices is former California Superior Court judge LaDoris Cordell, who heads the task force.

‘I am saddened that 12 jurors could not agree that calling a black male ‘Three-fifths’ or ‘Fraction,’ or forcing a lock around his neck, or creating an environment promoting racism with Confederate memorabilia, or hearing how this young man was humiliated, amounted to a hate crime,’ Cordell told the Mercury News. ‘This verdict demonstrates that we are a long way from living in a post-racist America.'”

Read more at the Washington Post.

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