As many students were preparing to leave Oxford for Thanksgiving break, one Miami University junior faced attackers who approached him with harsh words and racial slurs.
According to police reports, between 3:50 and 4:15 a.m. Nov. 20, a black Miami sophomore walking back to Hawks Landing was met by two white males at the corner of Sycamore Street and Brown Road. The two men reportedly approached the student, using expletives and racial slurs before tackling him to the ground.
The student reportedly fought back, and believes he struck one of his attackers in the face before the two fled on foot.
According to police, the two men were described only as white males between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall.
The incident is the third hate crime in Oxford in 2010, according to Oxford Police Department Sgt. Jim Squance.
“We’re hoping some other information will surface,” Squance said. “If we get any other information, we will pursue it.”
Until then, Squance said there is no further investigation into the incident.
Oxford City Manager Doug Elliott also serves as the director of the Community Relations Commission (CRC), which is looking into recent hate crimes.
“We’re charged with looking into discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, but we also take a look at other incidents,” Elliott said of the organization.
According to Elliott, the CRC will meet with the Student Community Relations Council, which includes a broader group of students and community members, Dec. 3 to discuss hate bias in the city.
“(We’re going) to talk about ways we can bring this type of incident to the public and think of ways we can prevent this from happening,” Elliott said.
He suggested a focus on community education and public discussion may be created.
“I was very impressed with the student response to the incident outside of Stadium,” Elliott said, alluding to an alleged hate crime that occurred in April. “We’re thinking of something along that same vane to extend into the community.”
Most importantly, Elliott said the city wants all incidents of this type to be reported to police regardless of whether or not a crime was committed.
“We want people to report any sort of incident if they feel threatened and allow police to investigate it,” Elliott said. “If a crime has been committed, then we know exactly what to do. If it’s someone basically who is racist, I don’t know how we counter that except to maybe work together on this problem.”