Brianna R. Brochu, a freshman of the University of Hartford was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace. Normally, when you hear of a freshman getting arrested, it may be due to a citation for underage drinking, but rarely third-degree criminal mischief or second degree breach of peace. In Briana R. Brochu’s case, she was charged for intentionally violating, bullying, and poisoning her African-American roommate, freshman Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe.
Both students weren’t attending the university for more than a semester and already they were experiencing roommate trouble. Tension grew worse over the course of weeks when Rowe started noticing pain she assumed was brought on by a cold that lasted for a month. Rowe stated her pain “...got to the point I had extreme throat pain that I couldn’t sleep, to the point I couldn’t speak,” according to Blavity.com.
Even though, Brochu and Rowe did not argue, Brochu would make Rowe feel unwanted in her own space. For example, there was an incident when Rowe was studying and Brochu entered the room, rudely shut off the lights and left the room leaving Rowe in frustration and anger. There is only so much a person can take. So, Rowe being the bigger person and refusing to engage in her roommate’s tormenting, finally moved out.
It was not until Brochu took to the social media platform, Instagram, and informed her followers of all her disgusting doings that light was shed on the matter. Apparently, she secretly messed with Rowe and her belongings so she would leave for good. Her Instagram post explained how she spit in Rowe’s coconut oil, placed Rowe’s toothbrush in an unsanitary area of her body, put moldy clam dip in Rowe’s lotion and even smeared used tampons on Rowe’s backpack. The level of evil in a person has to be extreme for them to strategically think of a plan to utterly dehumanize a person and negatively affect their well-being.
Imagine how traumatized Rowe is for doing nothing at all, but being black and trying to adjust to her new life as a college freshman. Now, she has to adjust to the reality that her ex-roommate tried to poison her because she was black. Do you realize how traumatizing that is to be intentionally hurt and embarrassed because of your skin color, and knowing there is nothing you can do about it but endure it and hope that those full of hate get the punishment they deserve? If you do not believe this humiliating incident should be seen as a hate crime, then you are just as wrong as Brochu for believing the choices she made were acceptable.
Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe could have died from the bacteria that were present because of Brochu’s heinous choices. To make matters worse, Rowe was informed by the public safety that she might not hear anything at all about the case, which shows how common African American people — especially women — have the door closed in front of them when they are in desperate need of help.
Through her resilience, Rowe took to social media and many people mentioned the University of Hartford’s twitter account in her defense and demanded action to be taken place. Action took place, and as a result, Brianna R. Brochu is arrested and banned from the university. Hate will not win.