Prosecutors decided not to pursue hate crime charges against the Brianna Brochu, the white college student who tormented her Black roommate Jazzy Rowe by contaminating her personal items.
According to NBC News, 18-year-old Brochu plead not guilty to harassment during a court appearance on Monday, with prosecutors stopping short of filing any additional charges against her. Civil rights leaders have continued to call for hate crime charges in light of the incident, which Rowe also said left her with a bacterial infection in her throat.
“She should be charged with a hate crime,” NAACP Greater Hartford Branch President Imam Abdul-Shahid Muhammad Ansari said on Monday. “We made our feelings known and will continue to do so, letting the community know and elected officials know as well.”
Despite Rowe providing text messages and other evidence to support her claims that her former roommate smeared used feminine products on her backpack, mixing molded clam dip into her lotion and referring to her as “Jamaican Barbie”, among other things, Brochu’s lawyer Tom Stevens maintains that her actions were not racially motivated.
“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,” Stevens said following a court appearance back in November. “These were two students who were placed together … who didn’t like each other … and it escalated.”
The story first gained national attention back in November, when Jazzy shared a video detailing months harassment from Brouchu on her Facebook page. Brochu was removed from the University of Hartford shortly after the video went viral.
Prosecutors are reportedly still investigating the case and are expected to reconvene in January 2018.