Update: The Albany Times Union has acquired the following video footage of the incident: Click here for video footage.
Three black female college students claim that on Saturday, they were physically assaulted by a group of white men during an attack aboard a city bus in Albany. According to the Associated Press, the Albany Police Department is treating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The women, who are all students at SUNY Albany, claim that 10 to 12 white men and women targeted them with racial slurs during the attack, SUNY Albany President Robert Jones said.
According to the Albany Times Union, the women were sitting in the back of the Capital District Transportation Authority bus when they got into a verbal disagreement with multiple white passengers.
The women reported that racial slurs were directed toward them, and before long, a physical fight ensued. According to the Albany Times Union, one woman said that several men kicked her after falling to the floor.
According to reports from CBS 6 Albany, the altercation ultimately sent one of the women to the hospital.
“We are shocked, upset but we will remain unbroken. We stand here with strength because we value our worth as black women and as human beings in general,” said Asha Burwell, one of the three women who reported the racially motivated attack.
The Capital District Transportation Authority bus involved in the incident does have a camera on board, and the bus company is currently working to provide the footage to the Albany Police Department. Cameras are becoming an increasingly effective means of clarifying incidents and providing accountability as needed. Between 2000 and 2003, the number of police cars with in-care cameras increased from 3,400 to 17,500.
“I am deeply concerned, saddened and angry about this incident. There is no place in the UAlbany community for violence, no place for racial intolerance and no place for gender violence,” said President Jones in an open letter.