Ex-Student Who Used Bodily Fluids to Harass Black Roommate, Avoids Hate Crime Charge

“This is a hate crime. Let’s stop playing games,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the NAACP Connecticut chapter.

Brianna Brochu, a white, former University of Hartford student who rubbed her used tampons on her Black roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe’s, backpack and allegedly put Rowe’s toothbrush in places “where the sun doesn’t shine,” will not face hate crime charges.

On Monday in Hartford Superior Court, Brochu, 18, pleaded not guilty to charges of breach of peace and criminal mischief. Last month, the West Hartford police requested the charge of intimidation based on bigotry or bias be added to her case. Civil rights organizations, including Connecticut’s NAACP, have also asked the state to add the hate crime charge.

However, prosecutors did not file additional charges against Brochu.

“We are very, very disappointed with the prosecutors … not pressing this case hard enough,” Scot X. Esdaile, president of the local NAACP, told The Hartford Courant. “They are not making this an urgent matter from where we sit.”

Tom Stevens, Brochu’s lawyer, has said his client’s actions weren’t racially motivated.

In October, Rowe, 18, posted a Facebook Live video detailing her ordeal with Brochu. The post went viral on social media.

Rowe said she didn’t understand Brochu’s actions.

“I don’t understand why, which is why I think it’s a whole racial/hate issue,” she said in the video.

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White Student Who Tried to Harm Black Roommate Faces Hate Crime Charge

Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe’s University of Hartford roommate used her bodily fluids to contaminate her possessions.

After Rowe requested and was granted a different room, Brochu stated the following in an Instagram post on Oct. 17, according to court documents:

“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 months of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”

Rowe also said Brochu’s efforts made her sick as she consistently suffered from a sore throat. Following her arrest, Brochu was expelled from the college.

University of Hartford President Greg Woodward said in October that “acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated on this campus.”

Brochu said she was retaliating against Rowe for posting an unflattering Snapchat video of her snoring, according to Stevens. Brochu claims to have lied about her actions on Instagram, “to appear funny,” she told police. But she admitted to putting tampon blood Rowe’s backpack and licking her fork, spoon and plate. She denies any other actions.

Brochu requested a jury trial on Monday and the case was continued until Jan. 29.

Esdaile was also disappointed by the trial continuance.

“We expect [the prosecutors] to fight on behalf of the people of our community,” he said. “This is a hate crime. Let’s stop playing games. Let’s stop pushing this away.”

The #JusticeforJazzy hashtag, used in October to bring attention to Rowe’s plight, is now being used to speak out against the prosecutors’ decision not to file hate crime charges.

The Women’s March Connecticut chapter tweeted:

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • But for the “Jamaican Barbie” comment, I would have been willing to concede that Brochu’s hateful actions might not have been motivated by race. However, that comment alone is evidence of racial animus.

    • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

      I’m with Granny on this one: the “Jamaican Barbie” crack is clear evidence of ethnic/nationality prejudice, if not specifically racial.

    • Completely agree. It’s the comment that sealed it in my mind. The prosecutor is missing the point.

  • If the roles had been reversed you know that this other person would have gotten some serious jail time. But this is the us .

  • The things that Ms. Brochu is alleged to have done to Ms. Rowe’s possessions is truly disgusting. I don’t buy the slant that this was not racially motivated because it clearly was (can you say “Jamaican Barbie”). The prosecutors are tone-deaf if they think otherwise. Then again, this is what passes as justice for us. BLM

  • Charity Dell

    American INjustice at work again.
    Business as usual.
    Chenelle, her parents and the attorney need to SUE
    Brochu into the 35th millenium, so that her legal fees,
    undergraduate AND graduate education be paid for
    in advance. CIVIL LAWSUITS often accomplish MUCH.
    SUE! SUE! SUE! SUE! SUE! and SUE some more.

  • It is just another case of the “lily white is always right”. If it had been the black girl who did these horrible things to the white roommate, she sure as hell would have been charged with a hate crime and it would be an appropriate charge.

  • It’s NEVER a HATE crime when it’s inflicted on Blacks! In AmeriKKKa, it’s the NORM to hate us. As a lawyer, I HATE racist, David DuKKKe-type, scumbag lawyers who represent other scumbags like Brochu. I wouldn’t take all the tea in China to represent Brochu scumbags and any other criminal.

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