The three black women who filed a report of a racist attack on a SUNY Albany bus are now facing criminal charges for allegedly fabricating the event.

The students – Ariel Agudio, Asha Burwell and Alexis Briggs – reported that they were subjected to racial slurs and attacked on a city bus on the night of January 30, while passengers stood idly by. The initial reports drew widespread condemnation, including from Hilary Clinton, who tweeted, “There is no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.”

However, the accusers are now being tried for misdemeanor assault and making a false report after a surveillance video, released weeks later, appeared to show the women as the aggressors. 

All three women pleaded not guilty this week.

Even following the release of the video, the issue has remained polarizing. While some students have felt betrayed by the allegedly false testimony, others believe there is more to the story. 

Alice Green, Director for the Center for Law and Justice in Albany, typified this ambivalence, explaining to The New York Times, “I walked away saying, ‘I can’t tell you what happened in that video; you haven’t shown me anything to confirm what these young women are saying, and I can’t deny it either, because it’s just not clear to me.’” 

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