The former University of Hartford student who jeopardized the health of her black roommate by secretly smearing body fluids on her personal belongings should not be charged with a hate crime, her lawyer said.
The Connecticut NAACP chapter had called for a hate crime charge to be filed against Brianna Brochu for using disgusting tactics to force her roommate Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe — whom she reportedly referred to as “Jamaican Barbie”— to move out.
The NAACP chapter believes Brochu’s actions were racially motivated and that she caused physical harm and intimidation to Rowe because she is Black. Brochu, meanwhile, was permanently expelled from the university shortly after Rowe’s disturbing story went viral.
She was charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace when she appeared in court Tuesday. But there was no hate crime charge.
Her lawyer told reporters that the case had nothing to do with race.
“I think that when it’s all said and done, what you’re going to see is that there was nothing racist that motivated this,” Lawyer Tom Stevens said, according to the New York Daily News. “These were two students who were placed together … who didn’t like each other … and it escalated.”
Local police in West Hartford said earlier this month that they were seeking a hate crime charge against Brochu. The local NAACP chapter held a rally earlier in the day before filling the courtroom during Brochu’s court appearance.