Brianna Brochu, a former University of Hartford student, was arraigned in Hartford this morning and charged in connection with alleged attacks on her roommate.
Brochu was initially charged in October with two misdemeanors--criminal mischief and breach of peace. Brochu boasted on social media that among other things, she smeared bodily fluids on her roommate’s backpack and put moldy food in her bottles of lotion.
“If putting mold in somebody’s facial creams is not a hate crime to you, I don’t know what hate is,” said Jordan Harris, a member of the University of New Haven chapter of the NAACP.
The NAACP made good on a pledge to “pack the court” and called for Brochu, who is white, to be charged with committing a hate crime against black student Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe.
Ajia Coleman, the president of the University of New Haven chapter of the NAACP, said that motive and intent solidify this as a hate crime.
“We’re just here trying to make sure that this girl gets the charges that she deserves,” Coleman said. “She needs to be put in jail and Jazzy is not going to get justice off of misdemeanors. Jazzy suffered for two months mentally, emotionally, and physically so a hate crime could be the least the state could do into charging Brianna.”
Attorney Tom Stevens, Brochu’s representative, believes her case has been magnified by the media and the NAACP. He said that Brochu’s act was not a racist one.
“I think that’s the spark that they’re fanning into a flame,” Stevens said. “I think it’s shameful because that’s not what it is.”
He said he expects his client to enter a plea at the next hearing on December 18. Brochu was kicked out of the school following the incident.