The community wants action and answers in Lawrence Township after reports that two Black girls were on the receiving end of racial harassment at a local high school football game.
Reports indicate that the alleged culprits are two 17-year-old boys of Indian descent who called the two girls the n-word and urinated on them. The boys attend Lawrence High School and were arrested. Their victims were Black girls in middle school.
“We totally understand that these allegations are very egregious,” Lawrence Township Police Chief Brian Caloiaro said Tuesday. “We want the public to know that we take all crimes here in Lawrence Township seriously, and we’re not going to stop with this investigation until all the facts are uncovered.”
One of the victim’s mothers wrote about the incident on Facebook before police stepped in. The harassment was caught on video and posted to social media. Trenton NAACP President Jonette Smart said that police at the football game should have been more involved when the harassment was going on.
“I think they thought it was just kids being unruly, and they told them to stay away from them,” said Smart. “My understanding is that the officers weren’t told it was a bias crime, but kids wouldn’t describe something as a bias crime.”
Students reportedly told police what was going on at the game but officers did nothing. Lawrence Mayor Christopher Bobbitt said during a press conference this week that racism exists in Lawrence Township and the community should fight against it. Black residents only make up 12% of the township.
“I would ask that the next time you go to the Quaker Bridge Mall and you look around, really look at the people,” Bobbitt said. “Don’t look at them as teens with their grandmothers. Really look at their faces. Look at them for who they are…Bigotry is a cancer, and like a cancer, it doesn’t go away. It’s still there, and when it pops up, we need to take appropriate action. We all need to work together to address this.”