logo
logo

A Campus Murder Tests Facebook Clicks as Evidence of Hate

avatar
John Robidoux
img

p Investigators say they still don’t know why Sean Urbanski, a 22-year-old University of Maryland student, walked up to 23-year-old Richard Collins III, a US Army lieutenant just days shy of college graduation, and fatally stabbed him at a campus bus stop this weekend.

What they do say they know is that Collins, who was visiting a friend at UMD and did not appear to know Urbanski, was black, and that Urbanski belonged to a Facebook group called Alt-Reich: Nation, a haven of white supremacist content.

“It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith, and especially African Americans.”

In addition to the local police department’s ongoing homicide investigation, the FBI is looking into whether Collins’ murder also amounts to a hate crime.

“We need something probably more than just a Facebook posting,” said Angela Alsobrooks, prosecutor for Prince George’s County, Maryland, during a press conference Monday.

Digital breadcrumbs have become key pieces of evidence for investigators in the age of social media, but they’ve also put a unique strain on the legal system, forcing courts to grapple with new questions about the relative significance of a Facebook post, a “Like,” a follow, a tweet.

collect
0
avatar
John Robidoux
guide
Zupyak is a free content platform for publishing and discovering stories, software and startups.