Two teenagers of “Indian descent” have been arrested by police in Lawrence Township, N.J. in connection with an alleged bias incident at a Lawrence High School football game.
The unidentified 17-year-olds face multiple counts of harassment, bias intimidation and lewdness charges, according to news reports.
The incident first came to light on social media with a parent reporting that “someone urinated on her daughter and used the n-word” during the football game, the Root.com and other local media reported Oct. 20.
Krystal Knapp of Planet Princeton said one student allegedly pulled his penis out and urinated on an eighth-grade girl who is black, according to a parent and statements made to the police.
“Some students allegedly targeted younger black students ... calling (them) the n-word, taunting them, and screaming that they hate black people,” she wrote.
Lawrence Township Mayor Christopher Bobbitt, who has a black wife and children, took to social media Oct 19 denouncing bigotry. “As I have said publicly before, hate has no home in Lawrence Township,” he wrote. “
“As someone that has felt its sting, I know that bigotry exists and sadly will continue to exist but that doesn’t mean that I give up. Instead, I look to find allies that will help me fight the cancer of bigotry,” he said.
Later that day, police opened an investigation.
“As a police department, we take these incidents very seriously and we will continue to investigate until all of the facts are uncovered,” the Lawrence Township Police Department said in a statement. “This type of behavior will not be condoned in our community.”
The township has a total population of 33,219, according to 2017 count, out of which Asians, including Indian-Americans account for 15.7 percent and Black or African-Americans account for 11.5 percent.
Trenton city councilman and Rutgers University professor Jerell Blakeley, an outspoken advocate against bigotry, said he was “extremely disturbed” by the parent’s account on social media.
“My brother and sister graduated from Lawrence High and I can remember the racial incidents that they had to endure while students there,” Blakeley wrote on Facebook.