UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — The Maryland NAACP is keeping the focus on the May 20 stabbing of Lt. Richard Collins III, the black Bowie State University student who was killed while visiting the University of Maryland campus.
Maryland student Sean Urbanski, who is white, is charged with the homicide, and the FBI is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
“We’d really like the FBI to rule it as a hate crime, because that’s what it is,” said Bob Ross, president of the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP, during a news conference Tuesday outside the Prince George’s County Administration Building.
Maryland’s minority students are concerned that any racial component to the attack might be overlooked, NAACP leaders said.
“You see a black student stabbed by a white student, you can’t just automatically rule out race without fully investigating more,” said Yanet Amanuel, who graduated last week from the University of Maryland.
Students who are members of ProtectUMD, a coalition of student groups, want the school to do more to counter racist incidents on campus, Amanuel said.
And Gerald Stansbury, the Maryland state president of the NAACP, said racist online groups should be scrutinized. Urbanski is a member of a Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation,” which posts racist and inflammatory material.
“These groups, they need to be investigated,” Stansbury said. “We need to know where they are, so that they can be exposed.”
It would be appropriate to lower the state flag to half-staff to call attention to the campus homicide, Stansbury said. “I think that we should fly the Maryland state flag at half-staff to let people know this crime should not have happened,” he said.
“It was a crime of hate, so let Maryland know that there is no place for hate in Maryland,” Stansbury said.
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