Three students at SUNY Albany in upstate New York who said that they were targeted because of their race while on a bus last month will face assault charges after police cited evidence suggesting that they were the instigators, the New York Daily News reports.
Alexis Briggs, Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell, all 20 years old, will be facing charges of third-degree assault, while Agudio and Burwell will face additional charges for falsely reporting the incident, the site notes.
The women claimed that on Jan. 30, up to a dozen white classmates started hurling racial slurs and ganging up on them while they were on the bus. The allegations, the Daily News notes, led to a huge rally on campus and garnered support on Twitter with the hashtag #DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany. Even presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in, tweeting, “There’s no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.”
Police, however, now say that an investigation has revealed that there was only one victim: a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly beaten by the trio.
“The evidence indicates they were actually the aggressors in the physical altercation, and that they continued to assault the victim despite the efforts of several passengers to stop them,” police said in a statement, according to the Daily News.
Witness interviews and surveillance footage also apparently showed that the students were not “targeted in any manner due to their race” but, rather, were the ones doing the targeting.
“The only person we heard uttering racial epithets was one of the defendants,” said police, who did not reveal the race of the alleged victim.
Read more at the New York Daily News.