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San Jose State Students Accused of Tormenting Black Roommate Are Charged with Hate Crimes

[San Jose Mercury News]

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SAN JOSE — First, his white roommates nicknamed him “Three-fifths,” referring to the way the government once counted blacks as just a fraction of a person. When he protested, they dubbed him “Fraction.”

Then they outfitted the four-bedroom dormitory suite they shared with a Confederate flag. They locked him in his room. They wrote the “N-word” on a dry-erase board in the living room. They fastened a bicycle lock around his neck and told him they lost the keys, then tried it again a few weeks later.

It may sound like something out of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. But police reports indicate it happened last month in the Obama era to a black student at San Jose State University, a liberal campus boasting statues of Olympic athletes making a black power salute.

Late Wednesday, prosecutors filed misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges against three of the student’s roommates over the alleged hazing, which has sparked anger in the community and on the diverse campus. The men are Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield; Joseph Bomgardner, 19, of Clovis; and Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre (Marin County).

“This is outrageous,” said the Rev. Jethroe Moore II, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter of the NAACP. “This form of bullying cannot be tolerated.”

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