Teens face bias intimidation charges girls allegedly urinated on at homecoming gamePosted: Updated:
Two 17-year-olds are facing bias intimidation and other charges after an incident at the Lawrence High School homecoming football game on Friday evening.
The charges come after four African American middle school girls claimed that they were taunted with racial slurs, threatened and possibly urinated on. Police say that they are taking statements, viewing videos and soliciting tips from the public as part of the investigation.
“The Lawrence Township Police Department is working tirelessly on this investigation,” Chief Brian Caloiaro said during a news conference Tuesday. “We're not going to stop with this investigation until all the facts are uncovered.”
The officials have not been able to confirm accounts that the four girls were urinated on. But the two 17-year-olds, whom police say are of Indian descent, are also facing lewdness charges.
Police and school officials are defending their handling of Friday night’s game. The confrontation happened behind and above the bleachers, but just yards away from where school officials and police officers were working as security.
A Facebook post by the mother of one of the girls allegedly targeted sparked a phone call from the mayor to the police chief late Friday night. The investigation began on Saturday morning.
The incident has also prompted town officials and community leaders to call out racist behavior. They say that behavior like this is unacceptable.
“How can we get this thing where the community will get involved with helping to stem situations like this?” asks community leader Fred Vereen. “Because if we don't, you know six months from now, a year from now, you're going to have the same circumstances.”
Police are reviewing videos of the incident that were posted to social media of what happened. But the superintendent of schools says that it is difficult to hear exactly what's being said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lawrence Township Police at 609-896-1111.
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