Press Release

ADL Welcomes Hate Crime Charges in Murder of African-American Student

New York, NY, October 17, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the decision by law enforcement and prosecutors to charge Sean Christopher Urbanski, a member of the Facebook group “Alt Reich: Nation” with a hate crime for the fatal stabbing of Richard Collins III, an African-American student in May.

According to police, Urbanski, a white student, stabbed Collins at a bus stop while he was visiting friends on campus on May 20. Collins had recently been commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and was set to graduate from Bowie State University just days before he was killed.

“Hate crimes are meant to hurt not only the victim but an entire community. We believe the heinous murder of Richard Collins III, an African-American student, was a hate crime. Since the beginning, we called on law enforcement officials to investigate this heinous murder as such and we’re encouraged that authorities are treating this case with the gravity it deserves” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “This senseless act of violence had reverberations far beyond the campus community and we will continue to press so that justice is done.”

Since the fall semester started, ADL has counted 79 incidents of racist fliers, banners, or stickers posted at college campuses.  This compares to only nine incidents in September to October 2016. There have been a total of 260 incidents since September 1, 2016 on 173 campuses in 40 states. Most of the recent incidents involve propaganda from Identity Evropa, but include incidents attributed to Vanguard America and Patriot Front, a group that splintered from Vanguard America in late August of this year.

The case comes at a time when the university is seeing a rise in hate-based incidents on campus. Recently, a man was charged in connection with swastika graffiti found on a garbage can on campus. Campus police are also investigating three incidents of hate-related graffiti found in the stall of a men’s restroom in a dining hall.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias curricula for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.