Black Student Files $5 Million Claim in Racial Dorm Room Incident

Victim Donald Williams Jr. says he was called "three-fifths" and the "n-word."

Posted: 03/24/2014 01:23 PM EDT

An African-American student who was a victim of an alleged hate crime by his three white roommates has filed a $5 million claim against San Jose State University. The victim, Donald Williams Jr., 17, was a freshman at the school this past fall, according to InsideBayArea.com.

Williams said his alleged attackers tied a metal bicycle lock around his neck and nicknamed him “three-fifths” and “fraction” in reference to slavery. They also wrestled him to the ground, locked him inside his room by blocking his door with furniture and hung a Confederate flag in his window.

Logan Beaschler, 18, Joseph Bomgardner, 19, Colin Warren, 18, and an unidentified juvenile face misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges in the incident. They have pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

In February, San Jose State University President Mohammad Qayoumi said he failed Williams in addressing this incident. Qayoumi said future precautions will be taken to prevent this from occurring again such as additional training for resident assistants. He also said a task force would be implemented to further investigate the incident. 

“By failing to recognize the meaning of a Confederate flag, intervene earlier to stop the abuse, or impose sanctions as soon as the gravity of the behavior became clear, we failed him. I failed him,” Qayoumi said in a statement.

Following news of the incident, students on campus organized a demonstration to show support for Williams. 

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(Photo: Wikicommons)

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