A San Jose State University student who says he was a victim of racial discrimination has filed a $5 million damages claim against the institution.
Donald Williams, 18, named the university, its president Mohammad Qayoumi, and others as the defendants.
Authorities said that four white students, with whom the teenager shared a dormitory suite, racially provoked and harassed him from September 23 to October 31, 2013.
The claim said that Williams’ roommates displayed Nazi imagery and Confederate flag in their dormitory, attempted to fasten a U-shape bicycle lock around his neck, used racial slurs like “three-fifths” or “fraction”, barricaded him in his room and threatened him with a golf club.
Charles May, a student housing assistant was reportedly aware of the harassment more than a month before the teen’s parents complained to campus officials, according to the claim.
According to the claim, the university failed to protect Williams from racist mischief and investigate the incident sooner. As a result, his civil rights were violated.
The teen’s former rommates will face misdemanor hate crime and battery charges. They have entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and are currently suspended from school.
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