UConn student arrested for saying n-word must complete community service, bias training

A UConn student charged for using a racial slur is on probation.

The student must complete 20 hours of community service and undergo diversity and sensitivity training.

One of the two University of Connecticut students arrested in October for using a racial slur has learned of his punishment.

As Campus Reform reported at the time, Jarred Karal was arrested after another student recorded him walking through a campus parking lot shouting “n*gger.” Karal was seen with two other individuals, one of whom was also arrested. The men were “play[ing] a game in which they yelled vulgar words,” according to the police report. 

”The two students both were charged under CGS 53-37, ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race,” UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said. “A third person had accompanied them as they walked outside of the apartments, but the police investigation determined that individual had not participated in the behavior.”

[RELATED: UConn students ARRESTED for ‘ridiculing’ speech in viral video]

Nearly three months later, a judge has accepted Karal’s application for accelerated rehabilitation, under which he’ll be on probation for six months, be required to complete 20 hours of community service and take diversity and bias training, according to WVIT-TV.

Karal originally faced up to 30 days in jail. The case involving the other student who was arrested, Ryan Mucaj, is still ongoing.  

The Connecticut state statute under which the two men were charged has been criticized by free speech advocates. 

University of California at Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh, in a column for Reason, called it “obviously unconstitutional, because it suppresses speech based on its content (and viewpoint), and because there’s no First Amendment exception for speech that insults based on race or religion.”

[RELATED: Charges against UConn students arrested for ‘ridiculing’ language ‘must be dropped,’ legal org says]

The free speech nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, told Campus Reform in October, “FIRE is deeply concerned by the investigation and arrest of two students by the University of Connecticut Police Department pursuant to a statue that any reasonable police officer would have known is unconstitutional. However offensive the use of a racial epithet, not directed at any person, the First Amendment protects offensive language, and neither the University of Connecticut nor its police officers may abridge students’ First Amendment rights.”

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