Racial hazing protest at San Jose State

Champagne Ellison, left, a senior at San Jose State University, marches in a protest over reported racial hazing of an African American freshman by his dormitory roommates. (Karl Mondon / MCT)

A fourth San Jose State University student has been suspended in connection with an incident in which three others have been charged with a hate crime for allegedly bullying a black roommate, locking a bicycle chain around his neck and using racial slurs to demean him.

The 18-year-old male student from Los Angeles has not been identified because at the time of the alleged incidents he was a minor, according to university spokesman Pat Harris and Bay Area media reports. The student is also expected to be charged in the case.

The other students — identified as Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield, Joseph Bomgardner, 19, of Clovis and Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre — are also accused of locking their roommate in his room, writing a derogatory slur on the living room board and hanging a Confederate flag and pictures of Adolf Hitler in their shared dormitory suite between August and mid-October, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

In addition to a misdemeanor hate crime, the students were also charged with misdemeanor battery. They face a maximum one-year jail sentence if convicted as charged.

The black student has only been identified as 18 years old at the behest of his parents, who said in a statement this week that they were “deeply disturbed by the horrific behaviors that have taken place against our son. Our immediate focus is his protection.”

"This is outrageous," the Rev. Jethroe Moore II, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People said, according to the Mercury News. "This form of bullying cannot be tolerated."

University President Mohammed Qayoumi will appear on campus alongside Moore on Monday to discuss pending criminal charges against the students.

The campus plans to host a public forum during the first two weeks in December about racial tolerance at SJSU.

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