Justice for Jason Vassell
On Sunday, February 3, 2008, Jason Vassell, a twenty-three year old African American student at the University of Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder and two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. These charges stem from an altercation that Jason had with two white men, who were on campus for no legitimate purpose and provoked the confrontation by smashing Jason\'s window and repeatedly referring to him as a "nigger." Although Jason never left the dormitory, he was the only one charged at first. While one of the perpetrators, Jonathan Bowes, was recently charged with two hate crimes and disorderly conduct, the other white man, Jonathan Bosse, has not been charged as of yet. Jason Vassell, who has no prior criminal record and is a widely respected member of the UMass community, is currently being charged with a felony, though he was attacked in his own home by outside intruders, who put Mr. Vassell and fellow UMass students at risk. We call for the excessive charges against Mr. Vassell to be reconsidered.