6 Massachusetts teens charged in racial bullying incident with mock slave auction on Snapchat


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By Minyvonne Burke, NBC

Six juveniles in Massachusetts were charged in a racial online bullying incident that involved “heinous” language, threats of “violence toward people of color” and a mock slave auction, the district attorney for Hampden County said.

Students from Southwick, about 104 miles southwest of Boston, allegedly participated in a “hateful, racist online” Snapchat discussion between Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said in a statement on Facebook.

Gulluni said he became aware of the incident on Feb. 15 and immediately called on the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit to investigate.

On Thursday, at the conclusion of the investigation, the district attorney authorized members of the Detective Unit and the Chief of the Juvenile Court Unit to pursue criminal charges against the juveniles.

All six were charged with threat to commit a crime, the district attorney said. Two of those juveniles were also charged with interference with civil rights, and one of the two was additionally charged with witness interference.

“Hatred and racism have no place in this community. And where this behavior becomes criminal, I will ensure that we act, and act with swift resolve, as we did here, to uncover it and bring it to the light of justice,” Gulluni said. “There is no question that the alleged behavior of these six juveniles is vile, cruel, and contemptible.”

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“Jokes” like these ignore the realities of slavery.

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