Christin Evans. (Photo: Courtesy of Randall Kallinen)
A Black college student in Texas says police officers stormed into her room after her roommates filed a false criminal report about her.
Christin Evans, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, was asleep in her dorm room when she says police entered with guns drawn at 3 a.m.
A group of at least 10 students, including Evans’ three white roommates, falsely warned their resident adviser that Evans was threatening to stab one of them with a pair of scissors, Evans’ attorney Randall Kallinen told USA TODAY.
The RA then contacted campus police, warning them of the wrongfully filed threat. Evans wasn’t harmed, but Kallinen said it “could have been a Breonna Taylor circumstance,” according to KPRC-TV in Houston.
Campus police and school officials did not respond to questions on specifics of the incident to USA TODAY but released these statements:
“My heart goes out to the young lady who was an innocent victim in this matter,” said school president Scott Gordon in a statement. “We will do all we can to support her and her family through this heinous ordeal.”
“The students responsible will be held accountable for their actions at every possible level,” school chief of police John Fields said in a statement.
It remains unclear whether the students involved have faced any consequences from the incident.
The case surrounding Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman who was fatally shot by police officers in March, has become a rallying cry for protests against racial injustice throughout the United States. The three officers involved that night were not charged with her death; only one, Brett Hankison, was charged for “wanton endangerment.”
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“I can’t sleep at night because of this,” Evans said at a Monday news conference, KHOU-TV in Houston reported. “It has made me really paranoid.”
Kallinen told USA TODAY that this is an instance of swatting, a method of harassment in which individuals wrongly report a false emergency to authorities, effectively sending police or emergency forces to someone’s home.
The “pranks” have resulted in multiple deaths. Tyler Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a swatting call he made to police in Wichita, Kansas, led to the shooting death of Andrew Finch in 2017. Casey Viner, a co-conspirator, was sentenced to 15 months.
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Evans has since moved out of the shared four-person dormitory but is still taking virtual classes at SFA.
A protest in support of Evans and the Black Lives Matter movement is scheduled on campus Saturday, Kallinen told USA TODAY.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.
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