NJ Teens Arrested for Alleged Racist Conduct at High School Football Game
|Oct 23, 2019|
Two boys from a New Jersey high school were arrested for allegedly yelling racial slurs and urinating on a younger girl during a high school football game.
The incident occurred at Lawrence High School on October 18, according to a press release from the Lawrence Township Police Department posted by Mayor Christopher Bobbitt. The two 17-year-old boys were charged with four counts of harassment, four counts of bias intimidation, and one of the teens is charged with two counts of lewdness.
During a press conference on October 22, Lawrence Township Police chief Brian Caloiaro said that the two boys, who are of Indian descent, were arrested on Saturday. Caloiaro said the victims, who were all Black middle school girls, were called the N-word and one girl was urinated on. Officials released the 17-year-olds to their parents. They will appear in juvenile court at a later date, Detective Lieutenant Joseph Lech told the news station.
"We totally understand that these allegations are very egregious," Caloiaro said during the press conference. "We want the public to know that we take all crimes here in Lawrence Township seriously, and we're not going to stop with this investigation until all the facts are uncovered."
Caloiaro said the five police officers that were at the October 18 football game were not told about the incident. Police reportedly learned about it from specific allegations from a Facebook post by one of the victim’s mother, CNN reported. Officials also said they had obtained two videos from social media, showing different parts of the incident. Lawrence Township Public School Superintendent Ross Kasun said during the news conference that the district was taking the allegations very seriously.
"I'm very disappointed in what happened on Friday night," Kasun said.
Bobbit wrote in a statement on Facebook that he was “deeply disturbed by the account of the incident on Facebook.”
“As I have said publicly before, hate has no home in Lawrence Township. As someone that has felt its sting, I know that bigotry exists and sadly will continue to exist but that doesn’t mean that I give up. Instead, I look to find allies that will help me fight the cancer of bigotry,” Bobbit wrote.
Anyone with information on the incident should call the Lawrence Township Police Department at (609) 896-1111. A similar incident occurred earlier this month after a teacher from a Pennsylvania middle school was placed on leave without pay after a video of the educator engaging in a racist tirade went viral on social media.
In a video posted by Facebook user Rasheed Noel on October 10, Noel wrote that he and the teacher from Drexel Middle School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, got into a small car crash in the school’s parking lot. The teacher, who has previously been identified as Renee Greeley by USA Today, began cursing and screaming at Noel. During one part of the video while Greeley is cursing at Noel, he responds by saying the teacher is angry with him “because I’m young and I’m Black.”
“That’s right, because you’re Black,” she fired back. “Always looking to milk the system. And you see me, a white woman, so you think I’ve got money.”
After Noel responds, Greeley then tells him that he should “go back to your welfare and your Section 8 housing. You see the big truck I have? Look at the piece of [expletive] you’re driving.” Noel responds by telling Greeley that he has a “3,200 square-foot home,” then Greeley tells “Go [expletive] off, you [N-word].”
Upper Darby School District Superintendent, Daniel McGarry, previously told USA Today that Greeley has been employed with the district since 2008 and went on her racist tirade while Noel’s third grade child was sitting in the car.
“There is a legal process we must follow, and the teacher does have due process rights. My recommendation to the Board is for termination. The teacher may elect to resign, go to arbitration, or request a formal hearing in front of the Board of School Directors.
We are following the legal process. I want to make it clear that we do not condone or support the comments or actions of the teacher in question,” McGarry previously wrote in a statement on Facebook.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.