UAlbany students who claimed racial attack charged
Last month on January 30th, three black female University of Albany students alledged that they were attacked by a large number of white students on a CDTA bus. The situation drew national & international media attention, as well as protest rally on UAlbany campus.
Albany Police have concluded their investigation however by charging the three young women who initially were viewed as the victims with misdemeanor assualt. Two of the three have also been charged with misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident. Albany Police drew their conclusion based on video evidence collected from the CDTA bus that the incident occurred.
These young women are being labeled as liars, attention seekers and many other names I will refrain from sharing. But of course you may feel free to go on any online article about this story and see the comments for yourself. Below are screen grabs posted by the Times Union website. To me, what is posted caters to the current updates in the story. But I am an objective person, so I tend to look at all sides and angles before drawing a conclusion. After watching the video I have come to the following:
The opinion I have on the matter and even with what is seen on the edited video footage here, is that there is quite a difference between verbal assault and physical assault. I do believe the women were taunted with some sort of racial slur and things were verbally communicated to them that resulted in their aggressive reactions. They themselves may have also communicated some harsh words back, escalating the situation even more. I also believe that the white individuals who may have made those initial verbal statements had no understanding of the possible consequences of those statements. Since there is no audio I'm making a judgement based on facial expressions and body language. Some of the communication may not have been as serious in intention or may have been said in a manner of testing the water, and overt sarcasm. Forgive me for stereotyping, but it can almost be argued that the white students were more into shouting insults, and the black girls (particularly one) were more ready to respond physically. In a more far fetched theory I wouldn't be surprise if a white male was flirting with one of the three black girls, and one of the white girls out of jealousy said something offensive.
It appears in the early part of the video that there was a moment where one of the women is seated on the lap of white students seated behind where they were originally seated. Regardless of the intention or situation there was still an inappropriate action/statement that occurred and triggered a response that was aggressive. I do believe that many of the students were under the influence of alcohol and that "liquid courage" had a lot to do with fueling the confrontation.
The conclusions the authorities have drawn I believe are based on the simple age old philosophy that many parents and teachers have always tried to teach the youth. "Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Although words may not physically scar, they do emotionally scar, and what I believe happened here was an emotional response to some strong words and statements that emotionally scarred them. I also only see one of the young ladies engaged in a physical response. Verbal assault is considered more like harrassment which is only initially a violation, where physically assault is initially consider a crime. If you understand that difference you can see where the young women claims are negated. From the young women's perspective I can see why they made the claims they made, but I can objectively understand from the authorities perspective why they made the decisions that they made. It is a tough situation to clear up especially without being able to hear audio myself.
Overall its a sad situation. There's a history in this society where the young women who made the claims could be initially believed without question. On the other side there's a belief that society is now a "post racial world" and giving attention to this is whats part of the problem. So much can be said or discussed but what solutions will come? Only time will tell.
To see the video and read more on this story view the Times Union & CNN articles below: