Posted February 26, 2016 5:40 PM ET; Last updated May 4, 2016 9:11 PM ET
Updated May 4, 2016 9:11 PM ET
Three Albany college students who claimed to be victims of a racially motivated attack have been indicted for assault and falsely reporting the incident.
Ariel Aguido, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs, all 20, had originally claimed they were assaulted - only for prosecutors to later claim they had been the aggressors.
They claimed they were attacked on a Capital District Transportation Authority bus on January 30, but prosecutors say they actually assaulted a 19-year-old woman early that Saturday.
Police later said: 'The evidence indicates they were actually the aggressors in the physical altercation, and that they continued to assault the victim despite the efforts of several passengers to stop them.'
Agudio's attorney Mark Mishler previously said in a statement that the charges were 'unwarranted'.
He said Agudio was 'an exemplary young woman and an excellent student' and that she asked people 'not rush to judgement in this matter'.
Police said during a three week investigation, they reviewed video from 12 security cameras and four cell phones, and also interviewed 35 people, according to WNYT.
University of Albany police released two surveillance videos of the incident.
The police statement issued last week states a 19-year-old woman was the victim, but footage appears to a show a man being assaulted at one point.
The women's initial report of the incident led to national outrage, a massive campus rally and even Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted about it, hitting out against violence on a college campus.
The three students claimed that on January 30, they were on the bus when at about 1am when around 12 white classmates called them racial slurs during a verbal argument before a physical altercation broke out.
Following the alleged attack, Burwell took to Twitter to recount the ordeal that same day writing: 'I just got jumped on a bus while people hit us and called us the 'n' word and NO ONE helped us.'
She then tweeted that she was in disbelief after experiencing 'what it's like to be beaten because of the color of my skin.'
Three New York college students indicted for 'faking race hate attack' and falsely reporting incident which sparked protests
Ariel Aguido, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs, claimed they were attacked
The three students claimed their assault on a bus was racially motivated
Police pressed charges against them, saying they instigated the incident
By COREY CHARLTON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 07:28 EST, 3 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:36 EST, 3 May 2016
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The three SUNY Albany students claimed they were victims of a racial attack last month but prosecutors say they were actually the agressors. Footage from the attack was released last week.
Posted February 26, 2016 5:40 PM ET
[Extensive list of other hoaxes included with links]
The Great Hoax of Albany started out straightforwardly enough: a dozen violent and racist white students harassed, threatened, tossed N-bombs and attacked three black coeds -- hurting them really, really, really badly.
For no reason what so ever.
It ended Wednesday when Albany police charged the three black women with assault, and charged two of them with filing a false police report about the racial violence.
[. . .]
Within a few hours, the black president at the University at Albany decried the racism and hate crime. Soon after that, CNN, the New York Daily News, and lots of other news sites joined in, following the local media.
Those damn white people were at it again. Attacking black people.
[. . .]
Black people are “sacrificed,” to white violence and white supremacy, she said to the bobbing head of the CBS news moderator. Later, Washington Post editor David Ignatius said stopping white on black violence should be the top priority of President Obama’s remaining time in office.
[. . .]
Soon after that, hundreds of students gathered to denounce the white on black violence and hate crimes in what was described as the largest gathering of its kind at the university.
[. . .]
No one pointed out -- or cared -- that in Albany, racial violence is a common and one-way thing: Black on white.
[. . .]
Then Burwell’s brother, Tyreek, got into the act. He is a 300-pound recent addition to the roster of the San Diego Chargers football team. He issued a tweet to one of the white devils who attacked his sister. [. . .] Hope the police get to you before I do.”
The student left the University at Albany soon after receiving that and other threats.
Soon after, Hillary Clinton tweeted: “There is no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.”
And oh yeah, the entire story was a lie.
All of it.
The Great Hoax began to unravel even before the big rally. Twitter and Facebook were full of accounts from the big bad white people. They said it never happened. In fact, they said Asha Burwell and her friends were the ones tossing around racial epithets and causing violence.
No one really paid much attention. Not the university president, anyway.
He doubled down at a Martin Luther King/Black History Month Breakfast meeting: Again, decrying the hate. Again, not even hinting at the possibility none of it was true.
[. . .]
local media stayed on top of local law enforcement, asking to see the videos. Wednesday it broke: the ABC affiliate in Albany talked to law enforcement officials who had seen the videos from the bus. And they said the black coeds started the entire thing: They were the ones tossing around the racial epithets. They began the violence. And they lied their asses off about it.
“I am told by law enforcement sources that these three self-proclaimed victims are now going to be served with tickets to appear in court possibly next Monday to face charges,” said Anya Winter of Channel 10 News. “But we do know this is one sign that law enforcement is moving forward with making these women accountable for possibly making false accusations,” Winter said.
February 26, 2016
The Great Racial Hoax of Albany
By Colin Flaherty
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SUNY Albany students who claimed racial attack will be charged for assault and false reporting
BY JASON SILVERSTEIN