Racist graffiti at NJ’s Rowan University was not bias crime
Police have identified the three people responsible for racist graffiti written on a dorm room door at Rowan University, but they will not be charged with a bias crime.
A note was left on the door that read "I hate N-word."
However, investigators say the young men responsible did not know the race of the person living in that room, therefore no bias crime was committed.
The Black student who lived in the dorm room did not know the men involved, but still says she felt deliberately targeted.
Alston Willis, 19, of Wenonah, was identified as the person who actually wrote the offensive words. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Willis identifies as African American. He has been charged with harassment, which is a disorderly persons offense.
The two other men who were with Willis have been issued a trespass warning.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the matter was reviewed by the Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman and the state Division of Criminal Justice Bias Crime Unit.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 11 in the Holly Pointe Commons dorm. The individuals involved has been let into the dorm by a Rowan student.
Video surveillance helped identify those involved.
In a letter to students following the incident, University President Ali Houshmand wrote, "None of us should take this incident lightly. When hateful actions affect one, they affect us all. It’s important that we stand united."
On Sept. 30, Houshmand informed students the individual "who granted access to these visitors will face disciplinary action," but has not said what form that punishment will take.