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MSU police identify seven suspects in reported hate crime

Michigan State University

Michigan State University is investigating an alleged hate crime based on sexual orientation bias after two students were assaulted Monday evening.

MSU Police and Public Safety identified seven people as suspects involved in the incident at the MSU Main Library. None are believed to be affiliated with the university.

Campus police reported a group of young people assaulted two MSU students in a study lounge at the library at 5:50 p.m.

University officials say the group made comments regarding the students’ sexual orientation on the first floor of the library.

“The two MSU students then went to the third-floor study area to meet with some other friends,” MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant said, explaining that a group of young men followed the students upstairs.

“At that point an altercation occurred,” Guerrant said.

MSU police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“Our department follows the definition of hate crimes as required through the Clery Act, which mirror federal statutes,” said Dana Whyte, a spokesperson for the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.

The Clery Act requires all higher education institutions participating in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crimes on campus. The law categorizes hate crimes along race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin and disability biases.

MSU's Main Library is open to the public 24 hours a day but does require keycard access for entry beginning at 6 p.m. Last February, the university implemented stricter off-hour entry for most buildings on campus in response to the Feb. 13 mass shooting.

“The suspects accessed the building before the keycard restrictions would have kicked in,” said Guerrant.

Once MSU police completes its investigation into the incident, the department plans to submit its findings to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office with a request for charges. Officials have also filed a report with MSU’s Office of Civil Rights.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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