Report: San Jose State Expels 3 Hate Crime Suspects

Three of the four white students accused of hate crimes against their black roommate have been expelled by San Jose State University, according to reports.

The alleged incidents, which included racial slurs, false imprisonment and the victim, 17-year-old Donald Williams Jr., having a bike lock placed around his neck more than once, began early in the fall 2013 semester. The school suspended the four suspects —Logan Beaschler, Colin Warren, Joseph Bomgardner and an unnamed minor—following charges filed by the District Attorney’s office, and a task force was commissioned to investigate the university’s response.

Led by retired judge LaDoris Cordell, who currently serves as San Jose’s independent police auditor, the task force found that administrators and resident advisors failed to notice obvious warning signs of abuse.

Students and civil rights groups have held several protests on campus, decrying the campus culture as well as the tepid response of SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi.

Cordell reportedly told the Mercury News that the suspects’ expulsion was a “no-brainer.” The school suspended Bomgardner for a year and will require him to undergo counseling, according to the newspaper.

Williams’ attorney filed a $5 million claim against the school in March. That claim was filed with the wrong agency, according to school officials, but it is believed that a lawsuit is moving forward.

14 Comments

  1. This whole thing is silly. Being a major jerk to your roommate isn’t criminal activity, and being a racist (or saying racist things, at any rate), in the privacy of your own residence, shouldn’t be grounds for expulsion. So-called “hate speech” is precisely what academic freedom is intended to protect. You don’t require academic freedom to say things of which society approves; you need it in order to say things of which society disapproves.

    Personally, I think they just didn’t like this guy, and so used racist language as one of way of teasing him, because he was incidentally Black, rather than disliking him because he was Black. That’s a pretty significant distinction, and ought to be recognized as such. But again, if you do dislike Black people in the privacy of your own residence, a state-funded university is obligated to protect your First Amendment right to say so. You ought to be able to express however you think and/or feel when out abroad on campus too, not just when you’re at home. But punishing people for what they say while at home, is especially absurd.

    • But again, if you do dislike Black people in the privacy of your own residence, a state-funded university is obligated to protect your First Amendment right to say so.>/i>

      It was that black kid’s residence too. Doesn’t he have the right to be left alone in his own residence?

      There is no way that this is a free speech issue. When you lock someone up and when you put a bike lock around someone’s neck you are way beyond an issue of speech. The speech part just provided context for the “hate” behavior.

      • “It was that black kid’s residence too. Doesn’t he have the right to be left alone in his own residence?”

        I don’t dispute that his roommates were being jerks. But that’s more of an issue of his having selected incompatible roommates, and should have been handled by his subsequently choosing to live with people with whom he actually got along (irrespective of whether they didn’t get along with him because of his race, or, as I suspect, if they just didn’t like him personally, and his race was incidental to that fact). Roommates not getting along, regardless of any racial identity issues, should not be treated as a criminal offense, or a civil rights issue, but rather as a residential housing disciplinary case. I would have been OK with their having been kicked out of on-campus residential housing.

        “When you lock someone up and when you put a bike lock around someone’s neck you are way beyond an issue of speech.”

        I’m able to discern between horsing around in a perhaps overly aggressive and unkind manner, and actual criminal assaults.

        • The got kicked out of school, they didn’t get arrested.

          I get that it wasn’t entirely their fault, because there wasn’t adult supervision, and there should have been. Even so the expulsions were justified.

          I think some people in the administration need to lose their jobs too. That’ll probably happen if they don’t settle the $5 million lawsuit that’s coming. I’m sure they’ll settle though.

    • Racist comments and hate speech should be protected by the First Amendment on public campuses. This type of speech should NOT be protected when directed at an individual. When someone is bullied and harassed, this is not protected speech.

      Also, this involved several instances of physical abuse. There is no rational argument to be made in defense of these students.

      • The rational argument is that not every instance of physical altercation rises to the level where the government needs to intervene as if it is dealing with some sort of criminal case. Sometimes people just don’t get along, and that fact doesn’t mean someone needs to be punished. Young guys get physical with each other at times; they don’t operate by the same rules that are in play at an office workplace, and I frankly wouldn’t want them to be.

  2. IPA just wants to make a statement (and make money) just like her call to fire any officer who made a misleading statement. Let the investigation finish before you, Chuck and Sam Grandstand!

    Have you every lived in a dorm room?

    Seems “Do process” just went out the window, thank you ex-judge your true feelings is coming through!

  3. Right: Kevin O’Keefe and Retired.
    Wrong: s randall, and the guy who ought to change his user name

    • Care to elaborate?

      Okay, I’ll change my username. How about Gabe Athouse? Or Dixon B. Tweenerlegs? Perhaps you’ll approve of Norma Stitz?

      • > Okay, I’ll change my username. How about Gabe Athouse? Or Dixon B. Tweenerlegs? Perhaps you’ll approve of Norma Stitz?

        Mmmmmm. No.

        It’s just not you. Too grown up.

        How about I. M. Ajerk, or Pomm Pusstwit.

        It’s more “you”.

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