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Mock Slave Auction On Snapchat Leads To 6 Teens Charged In Racial Bullying Incident

In #Massachusetts, six juveniles were charged with involvement in a racially charged online bullying incident, which featured abhorrent language, threats of violence against people of color, and a simulated slave auction. This episode unfolded through a #Snapchat conversation among students from Southwick, nearly 104 miles southwest of #Boston, on February 8-9. 

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced the charges following an investigation initiated on February 15 upon becoming aware of the incident. The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit led the inquiry, resulting in charges of threatening to commit a crime against all involved juveniles. Additionally, two were charged with interference with civil rights, and one of those also faced charges for witness interference.

"Hatred and racism have no place in this community. And where this behavior becomes criminal, I will ensure that we act, and act with swift resolve, as we did here, to uncover it and bring it to the light of justice," Gulluni said. "There is no question that the alleged behavior of these six juveniles is vile, cruel, and contemptible."

District Attorney Gulluni emphasized that hatred and racism would not be tolerated, committing to bringing such criminal behavior to justice. He has personally met with the victims and their families, promising that the perpetrators will be punished accordingly. The offensive chat, attributed to 8th-grade students at Southwick Regional School, included racist comments, violence towards people of color, racial slurs, derogatory imagery, and the mock slave auction targeting two juveniles. 

School authorities were alerted on February 9, leading to immediate and subsequent suspensions under state law. Additionally, initiatives are underway to enhance empathy and community strength against hate, involving new curricula and programs to combat bigotry, racism, and bullying.

We recognize that such behavior is rooted in deep-seated structures of oppression that perpetuate harm and inequality. The mock slave auction on Snapchat, along with the use of abhorrent language and threats of violence against people of color, highlights the urgent need to address systemic racism and discrimination. 

Link: NBCNews


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