A white college student is charged with a hate crime after contaminating her black roommate’s property

The student who allegedly bullied her college roommate at the University of Hartford in Connecticut is being held responsible for her actions. Along with being expelled from the school, The New York Times reported that Brianna Brochu was arrested and charged with criminal mischief. The charges come after Brochu bragged on a now-deleted Instagram post that she had done disgusting things to her roommate’s personal items in order to get her to leave their room.

Based on Brochu’s Instagram post, her harassment of Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe appears to be racially motivated. The Hartford Courant reported that her post said:

"Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 ½ month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions... putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn't shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie."


The Hartford Courant also reported that the “West Hartford police requested the charge of intimidation based on bigotry or bias be added to Brochu’s breach of peace and criminal mischief case.”

Brochu confessed to police that she had licked Rowe’s utensils and smeared bodily fluids on her backpack, but denied the other things she had written about on Instagram.

As for Rowe, USA Today noted that she told her side of the story in a nearly two-hour Facebook Live video on October 30th. She said that she felt “unwanted” in her room, even before she discovered that Brochu was contaminating her belongings. (Brochu’s Instagram post went up after Rowe voluntarily changed rooms.)

Rowe also said that she had become sick and was in extreme discomfort. She revealed that doctors didn’t know exactly what was wrong, but concluded that the bacteria found in her throat were contributing her pain.

Brochu’s harassment has caused outrage and people are using the hashtag #JusticeForJazzy to show support for Rowe.


Beyond Brochu being charged for multiple crimes, The Hartford Courant reported that University of Hartford president Greg Woodward said in a statement:

"It is clear there is work to be done at our University to ensure that all students feel safe, respected, and valued. The conversations that began with student groups, faculty, and staff yesterday are going to continue and involve our full community."

That community no longer contains Brochu though, since Woodward stated that she will not be returning to school and called her actions “reprehensible.” The Boston Globe reported that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy also condemned Brochu’s alleged “heinous actions.” And now that the former student has been charged, there is hope that there will be #JusticeForJazzy.

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