University of Colorado Boulder police are searching for a white woman shown on video calling two people in the school’s Engineering Center the N-word.
Yene Már, a student at the school who posted video of the incident on social media Sunday, said his friend was the person “verbally attacked” in the incident.
A person identified in the video as Reece Legan and another person there during the encounter released a joint statement through Már on Twitter.
Már’s friend, who isn’t on social media, said in the statement he and another person with him were looking for a free room to study when they walked into a room the woman in question was in.
“After we saw her we turned to the room adjacent because nobody was in that one,” the students said in the statement. “We have never met this or seen this woman before in our lives.
“However, she profiled one of us as being part of a group of black men that have been ‘stalking her.’”
Már’s friend and the person with him, who recorded the incident, said the woman kept looking into their room, which prompted one of them to ask why she kept looking.
“She said because she assumed he had been stalking her for no other reason besides his skin color and that we needed to leave her alone [even though we were studying in the same place we always study in every Sunday],” the students said.
The recording started when the woman packed up to leave and threatened to call police, the students said.
One man was heard on the video offering the woman his phone and repeating words she had apparently used:
“I’m a f—ing n—-r,” he asked.
The woman responded by threatening that whoever is stalking her is going to have “a f—ing problem.”
“I’m superior to you OK? Remember that,” the targeted student can be heard saying.
“No, no you’re not. You’re a f—ing n—-r,” the woman responded in the video.
At that point, a man identified as Eric Rozner, an assistant professor of computer science at the school, was then seen asking the woman to leave.
“I’m going to call campus police if you both don’t leave,” Rozner said.
He later said he didn’t end up calling campus police, “regrettably.”
“I haven’t received training or thought about how to deal with such situations,” Rozner tweeted Sunday. “On the fly, my intuition was to separate, deescalate, and then check on the students.”
University Chancellor Philip DiStefano called the woman’s language “absolutely unacceptable” and mentioned plans to improve university policies, training and resources in a public letter to the school community posted online Monday.
“I cannot state this strongly enough — racist behavior is offensive to our campus values and will not be tolerated,” DiStefano said in the statement. “The CU Police Department is investigating and searching for the person who committed this racist act, who will be held accountable to the fullest extent possible.
“While we don’t believe she is affiliated with our campus, her actions are just as insulting to our values.”
The school police department described the woman as approximately 5 feet 3 to 5 feet 5 with short blond hair and weighing 130 to 140 pounds.
“CUPD officers believe she is the same woman they found camping on campus last month, in violation of CU policy,” the police department said in its web statement.
It’s asking people who see her on campus to call 303-492-6666 or 911.