Two white university students arrested after video showed them shouting racial slurs
|thenorthstar||Oct 23, 2019|
Two white students from the University of Connecticut were arrested on October 21 for allegedly shouting racial slurs at Black students outside of their apartments.
University police told The New York Times that Jarred Mitchell Karal, 21, and Ryan Gilman Mucaj, 21, were arrested and charged with ridicule on account of race, color, or creed. The two 21-year-olds were released and are set to appear for a court hearing at the Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut on October 30.
In a video obtained by WTNH, it shows two men allegedly shouting racial slurs at Black students while they were walking past the campus apartments in the parking lot. Areon Mangan, a Black student at the university, previously told the news station that the incident occurred right outside her window and she did not feel safe on campus.
“That was actually right outside my window, and that’s just so upsetting, like, that hurts,” she told the news station.
Another student on campus told WTNH that this is the second time this has occurred on campus and no action has been taken.
“They have to make it be known that it’s not okay and it’s not going to be tolerated,” Jakim Dease previously told the news station.
The University of Connecticut police department told The Times that Karal and Gilman Mucaj were reportedly playing a game where they shouted vulgar words. While they were walking in the parking lot past the campus apartments, two witnesses heard them yell the N-word. In affidavits obtained by the publication, Gilman Mujac told a campus officer that the two of them had been drinking and did not remember saying the racial slur “even as a game.” Karal told police that he did not “believe that we had been shouting loud enough for other people to hear us.”
“It was not our intent to broadcast what was said to any one person, we were just being immature,” Karal said, according to the affidavits obtained by The Times.
Before the arrests, students protested on campus to demand action from university officials, NBC News reported. The NAACP chapter on campus also wrote a letter in the student newspaper, writing a list of demands to make the campus safer for students of color. The organization also demanded that there be action against this incident and another racial incident that allegedly occurred at a fraternity.
“Our President received a detailed report of the racial incident and the following events from a third party closely involved with the victim. As representatives for students of color on this campus, we are on high alert,” the letter read. “If the university does not adequately address and handle these occurrences of racism appropriately, it will create a culture in which racism is tolerated and normalized.”
In a statement obtained by The Times, the president of the university, Thomas Katsouleas, said the university is “supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm.”
“I’m grateful for the university’s collective effort in responding to this incident, especially the hard work of the UConn Police Department, which has been investigating the case since it was reported,” the statement obtained by The Times continued.
A similar incident occurred at the University of Arizona after two white students were arrested for allegedly assaulting a Black student on campus.
Matthew Fraizer and Matthew Rawlings were arrested and charged with class 1 misdemeanor assault on September 13, University Police Chief Brian Seastone said in a previous statement.
A police report released by university police states that police arrived at the Arbol de la Vida residence hall at the university campus on September 10 at around 11:20 p.m. in response to a report of a fight. An unnamed Black man told officials that two white men had called him the N-word before one man “ran up and tackled him.”
The other man reportedly kicked him while he was on the ground.
When the officers found Rawlings and Fraizer, the two appeared to be intoxicated, according to the report. One of the men told the officers he was trying to stop his friend from fighting the victim, but both said they could not remember what happened. An officer who followed up with the victim a few days later said he was not sure if he wanted to press charges, but said “the incident replays (in his head) every day, every second and it is frustrating,” the police report stated.
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.