Hate Crimes at Quinnipiac

Via Joe Peltier from the Quinnipiac Times, a few students got stupid:
A third arrest has been made surrounding the hate speech incidents that have occurred on the Quinnipiac campus, according to associate vice president for public relations John Morgan.

Freshman Charles Merritt of Clifton, Maine was arrested today in connection with the hate speech, and is currently being held by the Hamden Police Department on a $100,000 bond.

According to Morgan, he has been dismissed from the university.

Merritt, known as Chuck by many Quinnipiac students, was charged with three counts of intimidation based on bigotry and bias, three counts of first-degree harassment, and three counts of disorderly conduct.
Two girls had already been arrested in the morning and the President of the university stated that there is no tolerance for actions like this. Merrit Had been harassing some university Basketball players, and one of the players is being charged for similar actions.

As for the two girls, they are being charged in a seperate incident:
In a separate incident, police just before midnight Tuesday arrested Emily Loschiavo, 19, of West Newbury, Vt., and Courtney Stellwag, 19, of Newburgh, N.Y. They were both charged with first-degree harassment, conspiracy to commit first-degree harassment and disorderly conduct.

According to Smith, Loschiavo and Stellwag called the dorm room of a resident assistant. The RA was not in, but the phone was answered by two female friends of the RA, who were both threatened with bodily harm.

Sources said the two women who took the calls in the RA’s room are black and members of the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team, and neither was the intended victim of the alleged threats. Smith said he did not know the race of the RA.

The phone calls followed the discovery of racially bigoted words written outside dorm rooms and on a board outside a dorm.
While University President Lahey states that there is no tolerance there are, obviously, still issues to be resolved:
"I cannot state strongly enough that this university has absolutely no tolerance for acts of this kind and will do everything in its power to prevent them."
Local president of the NAACP in New Haven, James E. Rawlings, has met with university officials and plans to meet with them again, recognizing the fact that things that university are trying to accomplish, concerning racial diversity issues, are not working.

As for the player that is being charged, he had originally claimed to be a victim of harrassment:
Harold Washington, an 18 year old student from Maryland, is accused of leaving threatening and racial comments on a Facebook page.

Washington is also one of three African American Quinnipiac basketball players who told police last month they received threatening and harassing telephone calls. Washington's roommate, Charles Merritt, was arrested for those calls.

Now police say Harold Washington also committed part of the crime, leaving racist messages on the Facebook page of one of his two teammates. Facebook is a social networking website.

This whole saga began Friday, October 24th when a racial epithet and a swastika were found on the door of a basketball player's room.

The following day, threats and more racial slurs were found written on a room door at Dana Hall. And it was soon after that, the three players said they received the threatening calls.
Washington is the fourth arrest and faces similar charges as Merrit and has been expelled , as well. This should be a mess to sort out in court...

There has been a rash of what should be considered hate crimes across the country, mostly centered around the election and resulting in other lesser charges. This appears to be one of the rare times that the police have actually treated it as the hate crime that it is.

Kudos to the Hamden police for taking this seriously, the university for taking action at all in something that is typically swept under the carpets too many times, and the students that publicly condemned these acts.


Vigilante said...

Kudos, indeed!

Connecticut Man1 said...

I just hope it gets sorted out and I think that, maybe, those that started this slow escalation in hate might bear the bigger responsibility for the results.