It sounded like a crime tailor-made for Black Lives Matter activists. Three black female students at New York’s University of Albany claimed they were beaten up in a hate crime by a group of white men.
According to the Albany Times-Union, that wasn’t the whole story, though. Now, the three women have been charged with beating up a white teen girl after video revealed they had been the instigator of the argument. The three are also charged with filing a false report.
“A whole bunch of guys starting hitting me and my two friends, punching us in the head,” Ariel Agudio, one of the alleged “victims,” posted to Instagram after the incident occurred.
She also said the driver “let the bus sit at the stop at the social science building while my friend got beat in the head by white guys.”
However, now Agudio, 20, Alexis Briggs, 20, and Asha Burwell, 20, face misdemeanor assault charges. Agudio and Briggs also face falsely reporting an incident accusations. The charges carry up to one year in prison.
“The evidence shows that, contrary to how the defendants originally portrayed things, these three individuals were not the victims of a crime,” University Police Chief Frank Whiley said in a statement. “Rather, we allege that they are the perpetrators.”
“I especially want to point out that what happened on the bus was not a ‘hate crime,’” he added.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 30, when the three women were taking a late-night city bus commonly referred to as a “drunk bus,” due to the large number of drunk college students who typically take it.
“It was a racial crime,” Agudio said to 911 dispatchers, according to Fox News.
“They were calling us (N-word) and all this stuff,” she claimed. “And if someone doesn’t come and take this down or something, I’m going to call the news.”
As this video showed, though, Agudio, Briggs and Burwell were beating up an unidentified white 19-year-old teen.
The women’s accusation made quite a bit of press, even attracting the support of Hillary Clinton, who wrote, “There’s no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.”
Now, however, there’s evidence that the only violence was on the part of the three women.
“The video and audio evidence at the statement of every witness demonstrate that no male struck the three women,” a statement from university police read. “The evidence indicates they were actually the aggressors in the physical altercation, and that they continued to assault the victim despite the efforts of several passengers to stop them.”
— Todd Hamilton (@kcathletics1955) February 27, 2016
Agudio’s attorney, Mark Mishler, released a statement that would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
“It is also 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,” Mishler said.
You know — exactly like the conclusion that the media reached when the women reported the attack.
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