Boston Marathon Bombing: 3 More Charged in Attack

As two more international students are arrested, use caution to avoid stereotyping.

By Dara Sharif

Boston Marathon Bombing: 3 More Charged in Attack

Tazhayakov, Kadyrbayev, Tsarnaev

Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are under arrest and charged with trying to help him by throwing away potential evidence and lying to investigators.

According to a federal complaint announced Wednesday, two of the three—Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19-year-olds who entered the United States from Kazakhstan on student visas—face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The third, Robel Phillipos, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen from Cambridge, Mass., is charged with making false statements to federal investigators.

None of the three was involved in the bombing, officials said. Instead, authorities say the men saw pictures of suspects being shown by the FBI in the aftermath of the bombing, thought they resembled their friend Tsarnaev, and tried to draw suspicion away from him.

The three men went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and removed a laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks, authorities charge. Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators about his involvement.

On April 15, twin blasts rang out at the Boston Marathon, killing an 8-year-old boy along with two women in their 20s. A police officer at a local college was killed three days later in a gun battle with the bombing suspects.

Law enforcement officials captured Tsarnaev four days after the blast following a massive search. He faces charges of using weapons of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted.

In the bombing’s aftermath, questions regarding civil liberties, racial and ethnic profiling, and immigration reform have roiled public discourse.

Those polarizing discussions often spill over into the workplace. How can you create an inclusive corporate culture where stereotyping isn’t acceptable? Cultural-competence education is key. Best practices used by The 2013 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity include:

  • Using resource groups to educate employees about cultural competence and different groups. While very few companies have resource groups for immigrants, most have Latino and Asian groups, and more than 10 percent now have religious groups.
  • Using informational items, such as DiversityInc’s Meeting in a Box, to train employees about other groups and the need for cultural competence.
  • Having mandatory cultural-competence training for senior executives and mentors.
  • Most importantly, having clearly stated values that don’t allow for discriminatory language or actions.

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