UPDATE: 1/31/22 11:54 AM — State Police announced Friday the teen with the gun will now face criminal weapons charges after an investigation found the weapon was not compliant with New York’s SAFE Act. Police say the video does not constitute a hate crime. The teen will be tried as a minor in Chenango County court.
ITHACA, NY (WSKG) — Residents in Otsego and Chenango counties are reacting to a racist video posted by two local men on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In the video, a young white man holds a gun. Using a racial epithet, he said, “This is what we do to Black people.” He then fires the gun at a nearby tree, according to the Oneonta Daily Star.
The teen with the gun was identified as a student at Bainbridge-Guilford High School. Another young man who appeared in the video attended SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. That man has since been expelled from the college.
Some parents of biracial students at Bainbridge-Guilford High School said their children regularly experience racist bullying at school, and the video was not a one-off incident. Similar racist incidents have also been reported at nearby Greene High School, prompting a student protest in November.
In a statement condemning the actions of the student, the district’s Board of Education said the student who posted the video is under investigation.
I am disgusted by the racist behavior displayed on social media from a @sunyesf student.
Let me be clear: New York State has zero tolerance for acts of hate and intolerance, and any attempts at causing fear or threats of violence against any individual or community.
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) January 21, 2022
Oneonta’s local NAACP chapter, Governor Kathy Hochul and leaders from both SUNY ESF and Bainbridge-Guilford School District have also condemned the actions of the men in the video. State police say there will be no criminal charges against the young men, according to the Daily Star.