One night earlier this month, Karal and Mucaj — both described by police as white — walked with another individual through the parking lot of a student apartment complex playing “a game in which they yelled vulgar words,” according to the incident report. Police allege that the two switched to saying “n*****” when they reached the parking lot, which was loud enough for two people inside to hear.
The two were charged under a Connecticut State law that criminalizes ridiculing “any person or class of people on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality, or race.” The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $50, or both. The third individual was not charged for saying the slur.
It is unclear whether the statute violates First Amendment grounds.
“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,” UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas said in a statement late Monday.