Students face charges after reporting a false hate crime

U-Albany police will charge Burwell with falsely reporting an incident and assault


NEW YORK (CNN) – Three college students are facing charges after allegedly attacking a woman on a bus, then calling police to claim they were victims of a racial dispute.

The incident was captured on surveillance video. For the first time, we are seeing the video of what happened on the bus and also audio from the 911 calls made by the women claiming to be victims.

911 audio: “Hi yes, I’d like to report that me and my friends were just jumped on a bus for being black.”

That’s the voice of Asha Burwell who was front and center at a rally held in solidarity for the student after claiming to be victims of the racially motivated attack.

University of Albany police will charge Burwell with falsely reporting an incident and assault

“But to be a part of that I think it’s unforgivable,” said Carolyn McLaughlin, Albany City Council President

The video shows the three suspects in a confrontation with several people. You can clearly see one of them throw a punch. Also on that bus Ariel Agudio and Alexis Briggs, who will both face assault charges.

It’s footage Carolyn McLaughlin has already seen, “I don’t know what the answer is in terms of them asking for forgiveness and apologizing to the university but they have to answer to the charges.”

McLaughlin says she’s also concerned for the people who do experience a real hate crime.

“Don’t be afraid that because these young ladies made a mistake by embellishing their story that you have to be afraid to report something that may seriously happen to you,” said McLaughlin.

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