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DA mulls charges against teens arrested for attack on Chinese UW-Madison student

Police and university officials have said series of attacks not racially motivated

The Dane County District Attorney’s Office is continuing to review the case against three teens police arrested in mid-June for an alleged assault on a Chinese student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Criminal charges have yet to be filed against Madison residents Abdoulah Traore-Flores, 17, Cashius E. Carter, 18, and Alijah C. Johnson, 19 (pictured).

“[T]he criminal charges are pending and are under review as their Initial Appearance is not until August 18,” according to Alexandra Fischer, a clerk with the DA’s office, in an email Monday to The College Fix.

The three, along with an unnamed 15-year-old, were arrested in mid-June by the Madison Police Department on suspicion of disorderly conduct and battery “after a man was attacked while walking downtown,” the department stated.

The victim was a 26-year-old Ph.D. student from China.

“The victim said he was punched by a group of men, who continued to kick and punch him while he was on the ground,” according to police.

Also in mid-June, “two Chinese international students said they were randomly targeted by a group of strangers,” the Cap Times reported.

Another incident, according to UW-Madison campus officials, “involved an undergraduate student who reported to UWPD that a group of people repeatedly threw a banana at him. He later shared with UWPD that he received injuries as a result of the encounter.”

The Madison Police Department stated it continues to investigate attacks they believe are likely connected to the arrested suspects.

“At this time, our investigation continues to show these attacks were not racially motivated. The Madison cases occurred on June 12 and 14. The victims are different races and nothing was said to them to indicate they were targeted due to their nationality,” according to a June statement from MPD Chief Shon Barnes.

UW Madison also weighed in.

“Madison Police shared with university officials that another incident of battery occurred downtown on June 12 that involved a white male with no connection to campus and a Hispanic male undergraduate student who went to the hospital for his injuries. The same suspects are believed to be connected to this attack. Madison Police also reported a fourth case involving the suspects, though the victim in that case is not known to be affiliated with UW–Madison,” the university stated June 21.

“… Law enforcement does not yet know what motivated these crimes, but police investigators are gathering evidence and if they receive information that points to hate crimes they will be pursued as such.”

Despite statements from law enforcement and university officials that the attacks were not racially motivated, “students do not appear to be reassured,” Inside Higher Ed reported, noting the “campus held two Zoom events to provide virtual support to Asian students.”

IHE also reported that an open letter from various student groups questioned university and police officials’ “assertion that the recent incidents were not motivated by racism and calls that conclusion ‘incompatible with what we have learned from multiple credible sources, including victims themselves.'”

College Fix journalist Jackson Walker contributed to this report. 

MORE: Chinese UW-Madison student beat up by four locals, but cops say no hate crime

IMAGES: Madison Police Department

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.