A college campus is meant to be a place of learning and camaraderie, but this was not the case for one 17-year-old student at San Jose State University, the local District Attorney’s office has argued. 3 white students assigned to the same 4-person suite (names withheld for privacy) have been accused of harassing their third roommate, an African-American over a 2-month period. The students have been charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and hate crime enhancements.
As part of the evidence, bold claims have been made against them. They allegedly began calling their suitemate “three-fifths,” in reference to archaic racial term that harkens back to the way in which the United States Constitution defined slaves as 3/5 of a person. The 3 have also been blamed for having put up pictures of Adolf Hitler and hanging the Confederate flag (both easily recognizable symbols of race hatred) in order to torment their roommate. The battery charge (CA Penal Code 241.2), however, is the result of the attempt of the 3 college students to place a u-shaped bike lock around the neck of the 17-year-old and leave him ‘shackled’ without the key. If the 3 are convicted of hate crime enhancements (CA Penal Code 422.55, 422.6, 422.7, 422.75), they could spend up to 1 year in jail, plus any applicable additional time in jail and a large fine. Several hundred students gathered together on Thursday for a civil rally to show their support for the young man.