ALBANY, N.Y. — News of the charges against three young women who originally claimed they were attacked by racists, is spreading across both the campus and city of Albany.
Plenty of people on social media Thursday claimed the charges for assault and falsely reporting an incident were what they expected. Others are urging a slow judgment, and peace and understanding for the young women now accused.
"Justice demands that they be seen as innocent until proven guilty," said prominent Albany activist Alice Green on Thursday. "If someone makes a charge that's not true, we have to understand what would cause someone to do that. What can we learn from the relationships that might have existed on that bus?"
Green was persistent in pointing out that the charges are only accusations, not convictions. If true, she said apologies from the three young women would be warranted.
"We believe that apologies are always a good starting point when something happens like this," she said.
On campus Thursday, some felt vindicated by the announcement of the charges. Jeff Rosenheck, a senior, said he and other white students felt alienated when university president Robert Jones released a statement shortly after the incident January 30th, acknowledging and condemning the alleged racial attack.
Rosenheck noted that one student who had disputed the racially-charged attack had decided to withdraw from UAlbany after he felt threatened by backlash.
"I'm just looking for an apology," said Rosenheck, who wrote his own letter to Jones and admonished the president for his strong language.
"I just want [Jones] to admit that he was rash, in sending that email out," he said.