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Society

Three Indicted for False Racial Victimization Claims

| by Sheena Vasani

After getting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's support, three New York college students who reported violent racial victimization were indicted May 2 after evidence revealed they may have lied about the assault.

The three black students from University at Albany-SUNY, Ariel Agudio, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs, all 20, told authorities they were attacked because of their race on a university bus on Jan. 30, Fox News reports.

Investigations into surveillance videos revealed the women as the aggressors, reports Gothamist.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares said 12 bus cameras reveal the women hit their fellow passengers and that they made up claims of racist attacks.

In addition to charges of false reporting, the girls are also now facing charges of assault.

In January, the girls told police a group of 12 to 20 people -- which included white men -- assaulted and yelled racist statements at them while passersby did nothing.

Across the country, people expressed their outrage and support -- including Clinton.

“There's no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus,” tweeted Clinton in February, linking to an article about the incident.

In February, when some accused the girls of making up the claims, many were outraged by such allegations, Gothamist reports.

"It is ... unfortunate that some in the media and public appear to have reached a conclusion as to what occurred in this incident without actually having the information needed in order to reach such a conclusion," Agudio's lawyer, Mark Mishler, said at the time.

Now, many who expressed their support for the girls are taking back their earlier comments.

"Many, including me, commented on the unfortunate incident before we heard there was another side," Dr. E. Fay Williams, president of the National Congress For Black Women, said. "For that, I am deeply sorry and I pray that the court will help to bring the case to a just conclusion."

All three girls pleaded not guilty. Their next trial date is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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