We previously discussed the controversy at Albany University where three black students alleged a racist assault on a public bus. While the allegations produced protests and the women campaigned against racism, videotapes later showed that the three women were not assaulted but rather they were the aggressors. The three face criminal charges and two of the women (Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell) have now been expelled (and the third student, Alexis Briggs, has been suspended for two years).
It is the suspension of Briggs that I think hard to fathom. She is accused of participating in an assault and then lying about the incident — accusing others of being racists and potentially ruining their lives. The reason appears to be that (while Agudio and Burwell are charged with both misdemeanor assault and falsely reporting an incident), Briggs is only charged with misdemeanor assault. However, there is no evidence that Briggs came forward as other students were painted as racists and the false incident was producing protests across campus.
The women originally claimed that they had been the victims of a racist attack from “10-12 white men” on a city bus on January 30th However, after the videotape was reviewed the police found that it was the three students who allegedly initiated the attack and then participated in rallies denouncing racism in America. Hillary Clinton tweeted support for the women in their claim as victims of racist.
Investigators say a review of multiple videos of the incident showed no evidence the women were victims of a crime or subjected to racial slurs. The white men involved who they claimed assaulted them were actually trying to break up the fight. The police concluded that “[t]he 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.”
Burwell was due to graduate in 2017 and is pre-law. She and her friends reportedly said that up to a dozen “white men” attacked them without cause. Burwell, a junior from Long Island and student manager of the women’s basketball team, tweeted “I just got jumped on a bus while people hit us and called us the ‘n’ word and NO ONE helped us.”
Here is the videotape: