Two University of Arizona students accused of calling a Black student the N-word and assaulting him have reportedly been suspended from the university.
Although school officials have cited privacy laws in declining to say whether Matthew Frazier and Matthew Rawlings were suspended, attorneys for the men confirmed the suspensions to the Arizona Daily Star on Monday after arraignment hearings Monday in Pima County Justice Court.
Frazier, 20, and Rawlings, 19, were both charged with class 1 misdemeanor assault, University police Chief Brian Seastone said in a statement released to Atlanta Black Star earlier this month.
“We are committed to ensuring this campus is a safe and inclusive environment for the entire community,” Seastone said.
In a police report, witnesses and the victim said Frazier and Rawlings punched and kicked the Black student and called him the N-word between eight and 10 times.
An officer stated he was dispatched just before 11:25 p.m. Sept. 10 to the Arbol de la Vida Residence Hall about “a fight in progress.”
When he arrived, he and other officers interviewed three witnesses, the victim and the two suspects, according to the report.
One of the witnesses said he was dropping off his girlfriend when he saw the man police identified as Frazier tackle the victim to the ground and the man police identified as Rawlings kick him and call him a “p—y a– b—h.”
Another witness told police the accused men “started screaming” for no reason, someone tried to calm them down, and the situation ended on the ground.
“Frazier appeared intoxicated [odor, demeanor] and had fresh blood on his shirt,” an officer said in the incident report.
The university’s Black Student Union called the alleged attack a “hate crime” in a statement released on Twitter shortly after the incident.
The Black Student Union has said “legal actions should have been made” and the attack should not be classified a misdemeanor.
“We deserve to be and feel heard,” the BSU said in the statement. “We deserve to be and feel valued, and we deserve to be and feel safe.”
University President Robert Robbins responded to the incident in an email to employees and students.
“I want our community to know that racism, bias and violence will not be tolerated at this University,” he wrote in the email. “I will be working with members of my administration to ensure we have a comprehensive response to issues of bias and discrimination on campus.”