UC Berkeley custodian alleged target of hate-related incident

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A UC Berkeley custodian was the alleged target of a hate-related incident in Wheeler Hall last Wednesday evening, according to UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada.

The custodian, who is black, had informed two individuals in a classroom that he would be returning to clean the room and requested that they close and lock the room upon leaving. When the custodian returned, he found a racial epithet on the chalkboard that he believed was directed toward him, according to a UCPD statement.

The incident was reported just before midnight on Wednesday, Tejada said. UCPD is still investigating the identity of the two individuals and could not confirm whether they were students.

Hate speech, such as the epithet written on the chalkboard, constitutes a hate-related incident and not a hate crime, Tejada said. Only when criminal law is violated can the perpetrators be charged and arrested.

According to UCPD’s annual crime report, there were five racially motivated incidents reported at UC Berkeley in 2012, none reported in 2011 and 12 reported in 2010.

If the perpetrators are found to be UC Berkeley students, the campus code of conduct states that they would receive an alleged violation letter to meet with a staff member and discuss the incident. Subsequently, they can either accept sanctions or request a hearing.

Contact Mary Zhou at [email protected]