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UPD responds to altercation on CDTA bus

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By Kassie Parisi

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University at Albany police responded to a call last night at approximately 1:40 a.m. after three female students reported they needed medical attention following an alleged altercation on a CDTA bus, according to a report filed by the university police.

According to the report, the three female students boarded the No. 11 bus last night and went to sit in the back. After making a few more stops, a verbal argument broke out between the three women, who were black, and a number of other students on the bus, who were white. The larger group (about 10-12 students according to the report) of students allegedly began to use racial slurs towards the three women, and soon after a physical fight broke out, according to the report.

During the fight, one of the women recalled a group of white males standing over her and kicking and punching her repeatedly while she was on the floor of the bus. The alleged victims claimed that nobody on the vehicle attempted to intervene to stop the fight.

Eventually, the bus stopped at the Social Sciences bus stop, and two of the women who were assaulted were taken to Albany Medical Center for evaluation. Both had “minor abrasions on their faces,” according to the report. The third female in the party opted to not seek medical attention.

Albany police and the university police are investigating the incident. UAlbany President Robert J. Jones issued the following statement on Saturday.

“Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Early this morning, three of our students were harassed and assaulted while riding on a CDTA bus on Western Ave. in Albany.

The students, who are Black women, stated that racial slurs were used by the perpetrators, whom they described as a group of 10 to 12 white males and females.

I am deeply concerned, saddened and angry about this incident. There is no place in the UAlbany community for violence, no place for racial intolerance and no place for gender violence.

I am out of town today. I have decided to cut my trip short and will be returning to Albany as soon as I can to address this situation.

In the meantime, I have been in direct contact with the Provost and executive leadership team and have directed that the University respond rapidly and forcefully.

Our police, our student affairs personnel and our Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff are working together to support our young women.

We are working closely with the Albany Police Department to identify the persons responsible. If those individuals are UAlbany students, we will hold them fully accountable for their behavior.

I call upon all members of the University at Albany to unite. We must show the world that we stand for inclusiveness and stand against bias, violence and hatred.

Our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will be held on the evening of Monday, Feb. 1. As we reflect on the principles and values that Dr. King stood for, let us come together in solidarity to reaffirm our values.

Now is the time to recommit to our principles of inclusivity and diversity and send a strong message that we will not tolerate bias, hatred and violence in our University.

Robert J. Jones

This story will be updated as the situation develops.

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