A group of Cornell students were walking by the Sigma Pi fraternity house on the Ithaca campus early Sunday morning when bottles began crashing down around them. The students, who are black, say unidentified individuals on the fraternity house roof threw a bottle of Jack Daniels, an unopened beer can, and other debris at them. When they yelled up to implore their assailants to stop, the people on the roof allegedly shouted, "Come up here, Trayvon!"
“I feel like it was targeted and racially motivated... we felt very threatened,” student Beverly Fonkwo tells the Cornell Daily Sun. She says her assailants “were just laughing at the whole situation until we called the police and then they ran inside." Ithaca police responded to a report of someone throwing "debris off the roof," but the police log reviewed by the Sun shows no indication of an arrest, let alone a hate crime. We called the Ithaca Police this morning and their communications officer knew nothing of the incident.
Campus police are investigating, and they say Sigma Pi has been cooperating. No arrest have been made yet, but the fraternity is insisting the crime was perpetrated by one individual, not a group. Sigma Pi president Zach Smith tells the Sun the fraternity has “figured out who the perpetrator was, and will turn his name over to police." He says the individual is not a brother of the fraternity, and that a large number of outsiders were at the house Saturday night.
But regardless of whether the perpetrators were fraternity brothers or not, the incident has left Fonkwo and her friends shaken. Cornell student Sade Samakinwa, a friend of the victims, says the group was "pretty shook up" after the incident, adding, "I think the most shocking thing was not that bottles were being thrown but that they were shouting Trayvon. To use that boy’s name so disrespectfully while disrespecting someone is absolutely insane."