Three black college students who made national news earlier this year when they claimed they were assaulted by white students who were using racially-charged language have been indicted for assault and making false claims to police. CNN reports:
A grand jury on Monday indicted Ariel Agudio, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs, all 20, each on a charge of third-degree assault and multiple counts of falsely reporting an incident, the Albany District Attorney’s Office said.
Agudio and Burwell also face charges of harassment. Agudio also was charged with two counts of attempted assault.
The charges stem from a January 30th bus ride when all three students from the University of New York at Albany claimed they were the victims of an attack by a large group of white students. The claims led to a large rally on campus supporting the women. Asha Burwell, one of the alleged victims, spoke at the rally saying, “As black women, we are shocked, upset, but we will remain unbroken.” The president of the university vowed to hold those responsible “fully accountable for their behavior.” The incident spawned a hashtag (#DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany) and even got the attention of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton who tweeted her support along with a story about the campus rally:
There's no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus. https://t.co/ADVghl4iEv -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 4, 2016
However video of the incident, including a dozen angles from the bus itself and multiple videos shot by other passengers, led the police to reach a very different conclusion. Police Chief Frank Wiley said in a statement, “The evidence indicates they were actually the aggressors … and that they continued to assault the victim despite the efforts of several passengers to stop them.” Furthermore, the only use of racially-charged language appears to have been by the black students themselves.