Police arrested two University of Connecticut students Monday after a video posted to social media showed students shouting racial slurs outside of a campus residence hall.
UConn Police charged Jarred Karral and Ryan Mucaj each with a misdemeanor charge of ridicule on account of race, creed or color that carries a potential $50 fine and a maximum of thirty days in jail. The video shot on Oct. 11 from a window at the Charter Oak Apartments shows three young men walking through a parking lot and a police report confirmed that a racial slur was repeatedly shouted out.
Junior Tomi Alao said he saw the video right after it was posted to Instagram. The content hurt him.
“That’s not right what they did,” Alao said Tuesday outside of UConn’s Student Union. “I was very disgusted by that act – very disgusted, very disturbed.”
Alao said the fact that the school pressed charges against the students is a bit of a relief.
“I feel a little bit more peace of mind,” Alao said.
Inside the Student Union, Odalys Hernandez, a resident assistant, said she heard about what happened in an email from UConn Res Life, which is an association that manages the oversight of students living at on-campus dormitories. Hernandez said the email came with a prompt – that RAs have a responsibility to make sure acts of racism aren’t tolerated inside the dorms.
“Our rounds -- that’s what we do, they’re called rounds – they’re going to stay the same,” Hernadez said. “But, we are going to be more aware because when stuff like this happens, sadly, sometimes people think that it’s funny or it’s OK and it’ll happen more often and there’s kind of like a ripple effect. So, we are going to be more aware to see if other people will try to do the same thing.”
Interview requests by Connecticut Public Radio weren’t granted by UConn officials, but the school’s president did comment on the incident via press release.
“It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm,” said UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas. “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.”
Separate from the criminal process, UConn said it can’t specifically address what’ll happen to the students. But, a spokesperson did say that if Karral and Mucaj are found to have violated the code of conduct, they could face punishment ranging from being placed on probation to dismissal from school.