A 14-year-old student from Naperville, Illinois has been charged with a hate crime for placing a racist ad on Craigslist offering for sale his black classmate.
The white male student — whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile — was charged Wednesday after appearing before a juvenile court presided over by Judge Anthony Coco.
According to a press release from the DuPage County State Attorney’s office, the teenager took the photograph of his black classmate while at school and posted an ad on Craigslist with the photograph of the victim accompanied with the caption “Slave for sale (Naperville)” followed by an offensive racial slur.
Naperville Police Department began an investigation into the matter on Monday, November 18, when they became aware of the incident. Their investigation ultimately led to the juvenile as the person who allegedly posted the ad.
“The allegations against the juvenile, in this case, are beyond disturbing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said. “Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County. Anyone, regardless of age, accused of such disgraceful actions will be charged accordingly.”
This concludes the police investigation into a hate crime which no person and/or family should ever have to experience! https://t.co/ePuFOJwW9j— Robert W. Marshall (@ChiefRMarshall) November 20, 2019
The juvenile has been charged with two counts of Hate Crime (one Class 3 Felony and one Class 4 Felony) and one count of Disorderly Conduct (Class C Misdemeanor). His next court appearance is scheduled for December 18, 2019.
The Central Times, the school’s student-run newspaper, reported that Principal Bill Wiesbrook emailed parents about the incident a day after the ad was posted, saying it was “not reflective” of the school.
“We hold our students accountable for their behavior, which includes appropriate disciplinary consequences,” he wrote.
Speaking to WGN News, the victim’s mother said the student who was charged had denigrated her son in the past.
“They used to be friends, they are not anymore. The moment he started teasing my son, calling him dumb, making fun of his skin color, saying ‘shut up slave’ last October,” she told the news outlet. “They are not friends anymore.”
Naperville Chief of Police Robert Marshall said the post was despicable and extremely offensive and not at “all reflective of the caring, welcoming community that our department serves and protects every day,”
“Every single person deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our community, and this department will continue to strive to make that a reality by thoroughly investigating any allegations of hate crimes and bringing those found responsible to justice. I would like to express my appreciation to our school resource officer and supervisor who conducted a timely, thorough, detailed investigation.”