Racial slurs preceded UMass fight (Amherst, MA) - Page 2

Racial slurs preceded UMass fight (Amherst, MA)

This is a discussion on Racial slurs preceded UMass fight (Amherst, MA) within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Since when is it nessesary to go hide in your room in your own place or residence? I think that if these guys went to ...

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Thread: Racial slurs preceded UMass fight (Amherst, MA)

  1. #16
    Member Array centermass's Avatar
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    Since when is it nessesary to go hide in your room in your own place or residence? I think that if these guys went to the dorm room and attacked this guy, he has all the rights that he needed. Concider this. If you are at home and someone comes at you are you going to run and hide and lock yourself in a room. Bottom line. They were probably the aggressors. They should not have been there. As far as I'm concerned, living in a dorm room is just like renting an apartment. That is his home for all intents and purposes. They were making racial comments. I've never heard anybody make racial comments out of kindness. If someone came at me yelling racial comments I would be worried about their intentions.


  2. #17
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Good point. I don't know all the details.

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Update: UMass group defends student in stabbing case

    As featured on the front page of todays Daily Hampshire Gazette:

    UMass group defends student in stabbing case

    By KRISTIN PALPINI Staff Writer

    AMHERST - Rarely is a man charged with attempted murder embraced by the community, but at the University of Massachusetts a group of students, faculty and staff is rallying behind Jason W. Vassell, a student accused of stabbing two men earlier this month.

    Although Vassell allegedly did the stabbing, members of the newly formed Committee for Justice for Jason Vassell say Vassell was acting in self-defense.

    Vassell, a 23-year-old UMass biology student, is the victim of a hate crime, the group claims, and he should not be subject to the serious criminal charges facing him.

    'This could happen to anybody, and that's what our common interest is right now,' said Tracy Kelley, the committee's executive secretary and Vassell's partner.

    'Regardless of your sexual preference, gender or skin color, you can be touched by some awful violent situation like this,' she said.

    Justice for Jason supporters will share their understanding of how the incident unfolded with the community today at 5 p.m. in UMass Campus Center Room 163C. During a panel discussion, 'Building a Safe and Inclusive Campus Climate for All,' committee members will offer further details of the event and attempt to raise awareness about racism in the area.

    'The hate crime brought this all together, but we need to address the campus climate,' said Kelley. 'This is an isolated incident, but it has larger social implications that need to be addressed.'

    According to UMass officials the incident occurred around 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, inside MacKimmie dormitory, Vassell's home. It involved three men: Vassell, who is black, and two white men who are not UMass students. One of the men involved in the melee, John Bowes, 20, instigated a verbal confrontation when he yelled racial slurs at Vassell, police said.

    The yelling escalated into violence. Vassell's nose was broken and Bowes, along with the other man, 19-year-old Jonathan Bosse, were stabbed.

    Bowes is being charged with disorderly conduct, civil rights violations with injury, and assault and battery to intimidate with bodily injury. Bosse has not been charged.

    On Feb. 7, Vassell pleaded innocent to two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

    'It seems like this is a really excessive reaction,' said Tobias I. Baskin, a UMass biology professor supporting Justice for Jason. 'I'm very worried that he is being charged like this because he's a black kid with a knife and it's almost like (the authorities think) 'He's a gang member, let's just throw him away,' but that's not what we have here.'

    Justice for Jason is also seeking to raise $15,000 to fund Vassell's legal battle.

    A petition is now circulating online, Justice for Jason Vassell Petition : [ powered by iPetitions.com ], calling for the charges against Vassell to be reviewed.

    Justice for Jason's account of the events on Feb. 3 does not refute police reports, but adds more detail to them. Kelley said the committee's report is a compilation of witness interviews. UMass Deputy Police Chief Patrick T. Archbald declined to comment on the report.

    According to the committee's findings, outlined in a letter to the campus community, the incident was sparked at 4 a.m. when two women visiting Vassell's dorm opened a window and found a man's face pressed against the window staring back at them.

    When Vassell asked the man (allegedly Bowes) to explain himself, the man went into a 'loud tirade of racial invectives and violent threats directed at Vassell,' the report states. Vassell then told him to go away, but instead of leaving, the man allegedly began kicking the window. The women then left the room and the police were called.

    While waiting for the police to arrive, Vassell called a friend for support, the committee claims. When Vassell opened the door to let his friend inside, Bosse and Bowes also entered the lobby.

    One of the men then assaulted Vassell, breaking his nose, the report said. Following this, Bosse and Bowes were stabbed.

    'We've been working steadfastly since Feb. 4, mobilizing the community, reaching out to faculty, administrators and students, local organization, people in Boston, to mobilize around this issue,' said Kelley.

    'We have to do more to address everyone's safety.'

    Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@gazettenet.com.

    The story can be found at; http://www.dailyhampshiregazette.com...fm?id_no=80490

    - Janq

    Personal Note: I talked this over with my wife tonight after we put the kids to bed. She's from Amherst, was raised there from 2nd grade and is a UMass alum. I'm on UMass campus like twice a month doing something be it using their library or visiting on business with a prof. We talked about my own upbringing and adventures in life and self defense and being the unwanted victim of racism, which she totally does not understand at all...being from Amherst. I told her I very much identify with this young man and his situation.
    We've decided to as a couple donate to his cause. I'll be making some calls tomorrow toward how to do so. This is just wrong.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  4. #19
    Member Array Bama1911's Avatar
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    I fully agree with your last statement Janq. This story hits very close to home with me being a young black college student. From the day that you first posted this story, I had a strong feeling that it would surface as being self defense. It's almost a shock to me that Mr. Vassell was prematurely charged with such serious offenses while his attackers weren't even considered to be in violation of any laws directly following the incident.
    "Campus "gun free zones" may make some people feel safer, but as recent events demonstrate, feeling safe is not the same as being safe."
    www.concealedcampus.org

  5. #20
    Member Array Southtexas's Avatar
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    In no way saying I told you so here, but the facts from the beginning were a warning sign, two people who didnt belong where they were at and then used racial slurs, AGAIN I NEVER CONDONE VIOLENCE AS A DEFENSE AGAINST WORDS, but trust me when I tell you that if a person is using racial slurs towards someone they are more than likely not far from violence themselves, and when someone uses racial slurs in my store that sets me into condidtion red right away, because hatefull words are often followed by actions, As I said before a good defense lawyer is going to make this into a "hate crime" when what it looks like it started out as was some peeping toms, who happened to be stupid enough to use racial slurs in a fight.

    Remember folks what happened to this student can and probably will happen to most folks involved in any SD situation that is not perfectly cut and dry, you will be put through the grinder, and what do I have to say to that? better tried by 12 than carried by 6, if you have to act, then you have to act. What is reasonable to a person under stress is very rarely reasonable to a jury who are more than likely made up of sheep.

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed ST.

    This is an excellent example of what might, can, and likely will happen to one of us a good guy defending ourself upon being preyed upon by hyena in a community that is overall and largely not from say Texas or Florida.

    BTW I live amongst these people and I know for a fact that if I were caught up in some garbage and needed to make the decision to shot or cut a...person...you can bet my name would be posted in some thread on a gunfu forum as being the next sad sap to be charged with attempted murder and some more 'ish costing a college tuition or likely much more to develop a _defense_ fund upon being preyed upon and victimized a second time by the law. This kid could very easily be me or in the not far off future my own son or daughter.

    Sucks. :(

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    I think, from what I can tell, it was self defense. I believe that he will walk. I don't understand why the one was not charged at all but perhaps he will be.

  8. #23
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    Hmm, looks like (from the Justice for Jason folks, anyway) that this is a much more clear-cut (pardon the pun) case of self defense then it appeared at first. If those statements are to be believed (and I see no reason not to), B and B were up to no good from Jump Street. Being on a campus they apparently had no business being on, looking in windows they certainly had no business looking into, and verbally accosting the guy who told them (rightfully) to go pound sand.

    If Vassel did in fact call the police and a friend, and B and B entered the dorms without permission and with the intent to start problems, then I see no way that Vassel should be facing these charges. He did what we're all told to do - call the cops and let them handle it. Of course, as we all know, cops can never be all places at all times, and unfortunately for Mr. Vassel B and B decided not to wait for the boys in blue. Once two guys start beating on you and invoking hate speech, it's quite likely that you could articulate being in immediate fear for your life, thus making deadly force not only authorized but necessary.

    I hope the facts support the Justice for Jason cause, and that he is released without prejudice (again, pardon the pun) immediately.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  9. #24
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    OPFOR,

    Remember this is MA. :\

    The charges are automatic because a human being was injured.
    Had either person died of their wounds in MA per the way the law is written the _victim_ would manditorily be charged and have to defend himself. From there the clock and money counter starts ticking, against him. It's a sad state of affairs but that's how they roll up here.
    Also as this occurred on university property per the UMass rules I posted earlier so called 'dangerous weapons' are not allowed on campus per campus rules and supported by state laws toward college and university property.

    Even if Vassel is eventually released and all charges cleared, he's still going to have multiple problems in regard to handling a legal defense funding debt load _and_ getting his record expunged from the MA 'Criminal Offender Record Information' (CORI) database which also by state law requires automatic entry upon being charged even if one is the victim. This CORI system is legend for being inaccurate, vague, and unfair toward victims who are charged and later (often time much later) exonerated of charges; Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) - MassLegalHelp .
    Once your name and info hits MA CORI securing/keeping a job, rental housing, and more in an instant becomes extremely difficult to accomplish.

    In that other thread running where someone asked for evidence of how a good guy victimized can be made to suffer for defending himself and how he'd not heard of as much and figured the position was bogus/urban legend. This case is yet another example of just that reality, one amongst what in fact are many occurrences of similar same across the country....except for maybe Texas and Florida.

    - :(
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #25
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    So much for the cradle of the Revolution, eh Janq? Seems like it's just a cradle these days...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #26
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Yep...I've been telling my wife this. She doesn't get it nor do my inlaws either.
    What I find to be even more hilarious, and sad, is that around here on this side of MA folks will with pride comment toward how the Amherst town common was used by Daniel Shay and his raiders to keep their horses (a normal activity in those times) as well as maintained a hide out amongst the rocky cliffs of The Notch (part of a local to Amherst mountain range) and comment to how the Northampton courthouse (still standing and now used as an adjunct to the Town Hall) were taken over by Shay. Yippee for liberty and revolutionary times freedom!

    But then FFWD to modern day current times and these _EXACT_ same prideful people have gladly given away their own freedoms and civil liberties and will in a heartbeat brow beat you, me, and any other citizen who might have the nerve to possess a firearm or any other tool which tey might deem to be a "dangerous device" for what ever purpose and/or having the nerve to fight back against those who trespass against us, further seeing us as retrograde ruffians.
    To add insult to injury the MA state seal and motto are the following;



    The sword illustrates the Latin motto that is written in gold on a blue ribbon around the bottom of the shield: "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem". This is the second of two lines written about 1659 by Algernon Sydney, English soldier and politician, in the Book of Mottoes in the King's Library in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and means, "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty".

    Source - CIS: State Symbols
    For those not hip to forgotten American history the following is detail toward the actions of Daniel Shays and his raiders; Springfield Armory National Historic Site - Shays Rebellion 1787 (U.S. National Park Service)

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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