STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Two male University of Connecticut (UConn) students have been charged in connection with a racially-charged video shot in the parking lot of a student housing building.
The incident happened at Charter Oak Apartments on Oct. 11.
In the video, three people were seen walking in the parking lot saying the N-word to black students inside of their rooms and then laughing about it.
The incident caused several black students to feel unsafe on school grounds.
“I don’t feel comfortable here anymore,” Areon Mangan told News 8 days after the video went viral.
On Monday, 21-year-old Jarred Mitchell Karal, of Plainville, and 21-year-old Ryan Gilman Mucaj, of Granby, were charged with ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.
Police said the third person in the video is not facing charges because they did not participate “in the behavior.”
Police reports state the trio walked through the complex after leaving a nearby business and played games in which they yelled vulgar words.
As they walked through the parking lot, officers said Mucaj and Karal switched to saying a racial epithet that was heard by witnesses
Since the incident happened, students came together several times to ask for change and pled with school officials to do something.
“We’d really like to see the university stand behind black students and say they don’t accept any form of racism on campus and that it won’t be tolerated, and that students that commit any race-related biases or anything of that nature will really get the proper consequences,” said student Avolyn Neives.
The NAACP held a town hall meeting on campus Monday night to discuss the incident.
Some students told News 8 that they are relieved that something is being done about the incident, others said it’s only a small step in the right direction.
“It’s about time. We, as a community and as black people, we don’t usually get our justice and if we do get our justice, it’s going to take a very long time. So I’m happy to find out that we got something and we got it swiftly.”– Kareem Williams, UCONN student
Thomas Katsouleas, UCONN’s President, released a statement to students Monday saying, in part, “It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm.”
School officials have not said if the students will be expelled or not.
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