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College students criminally charged for saying racial slurs while walking by student apartments


They were recorded on video

University of Connecticut campus. (Getty Images)

Two University of Connecticut student have been arrested and charged with hate crimes after being recorded walking outside student apartments saying racial slurs, according to The Washington Post.

Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, both identified as 21-year-old white students by police, were charged with the misdemeanor of ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race for violating a state hate crime statute.

The students also face potential discipline from the school, even possible expulsion, for violating the student code of conduct, UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas said in a statement.

"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," Katsouleas said.

Karal and Mucaj, and a third unnamed student who was not charged, were walking by student housing and playing a game in which they yelled offensive words. According to the incident report, Karal and Mucaj began saying "n****" as they walked by student housing, and someone in the apartments began recording.

The video of the incident went viral earlier this month, causing outrage among students and faculty and eventually reaching law enforcement.

The university NAACP called for the university to take strong action against the students to set a standard that such behavior is not acceptable.

"If the university does not adequately address and handle these occurrences of racism appropriately, it will create a culture in which racism is tolerated and normalized," read an NAACP letter. "We demand for your full assurance that you will take appropriate measures to hold the students involved in these heinous acts of racism accountable."

Some students participated in on-campus protests in response to the incident.

Karal and Mucaj have a court date on Oct. 30, and they were released upon promising to return for that hearing. Their charges carry a potential jail sentence of up to 30 days, a maximum fine of $50, or both.

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