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Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 05/07/2011

U.Va.: Student recants racial profiling claim

A University of Virginia law student who said he was the victim of racial profiling by campus police now says he concocted the claim, U.Va. said in a release.

Johnathan Perkins, 25, admitted he made up the story that police stopped him on March 31 and mistreated him, according to the release issued Friday.

The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reports that Perkins did not respond to a request for comment.


Students walk on the University of Virginia campus earlier this year. (File photo: Rebecca Drobis - For The Washington Post)
Perkins made the claim in a letter to the editor, which ran in the April 22 edition of the law school newspaper, Virginia Law Weekly.

“I wrote the article to bring attention to the topic of police misconduct,” Perkins wrote in a written statement to U.Va. officials. “The events in the article did not occur.”

During an investigation following Perkins’ allegation, campus police reviewed dispatch records, personnel rosters and police radio tapes.

“The student cooperated with the investigation,” U.Va. Police Chief Michael A. Gibson said. “But details and facts of his story came into question as the investigation unfolded.”

Gibson said he hopes Perkins’ false claims will not deter other students from coming forward if they have problems with police.

“I recognize that police misconduct does occur,” Gibson said in the release. “I want to send the message just how seriously we take such charges and that we will always investigate them with care and diligence.”

The university release said Perkins will not face criminal charges for making a false report.

He is scheduled to graduate in two weeks.

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Information from: The Daily Progress, http://www.dailyprogress.com

By The Associated Press  |  11:19 AM ET, 05/07/2011

 
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