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Kentucky student arrested after video shows her using slur, assaulting Black students

Police arrested a University of Kentucky student who was caught on camera using a racial slur and physically attacking two Black students Sunday.

Police arrested Sophia Rosing, 22, who is white, just before 4 a.m. at a campus dorm on charges of intoxication in a public place, third-degree assault on a police officer, fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct, according to an online record from the Fayette County Detention Center, which says she is being held on $10,000 bond.

Video of the assault, which circulated on social media Sunday, shows Rosing using a racial slur as she strikes at a woman who is working at a dormitory front desk. The student tries to restrain Rosing, who appears to be visibly intoxicated and struggles to stay standing in the video.

“Could you stop?” asks the victim, who was working an overnight shift at Boyd Hall, university President Eli Capilouto told students in an email Sunday. (The video is captioned “what I had to deal with at work.”)

“Nope,” Rosing responds.

“I do not get paid enough for this,” the victim says, as Rosing calls her a racial slur.

“I got this all on video,” says someone recording the assault.

The video then shows the first victim and another victim trying to place Rosing in a chair. Rosing tries to punch the second victim before she tries to kick the first victim; it is unclear whether she struck either.

The video ends showing a white male police officer handcuffing Rosing in the dorm as she continues to repeat the racial slur and struggles to remain standing.

Nobody answered at any of the phone numbers publicly listed under Rosing’s name. A Facebook message to what appears to be her account also went unanswered.

The school is not identifying the victims because of federal privacy laws, a spokesperson said.

Late Sunday afternoon, the online jail record identified Rosing as “Jane Doe.” A university spokesperson confirmed that Rosing was the student who was arrested.

In his email to students, Capilouto, the university president, said the student employee victim “acted with professionalism, restraint and discretion.” The email also adds that the school’s Office of Student Conduct has launched an immediate review of the assault and that its Student Success teams “are reaching out to the student victims who were subject to this behavior to offer support.”

“To be clear: we condemn this behavior and will not tolerate it under any circumstance,” Capilouto said in the email, which promised to update students with more details as they become available. “The safety and well-being of our community has been — and will continue to be — our top priority.”

Asked whether Rosing is still enrolled at the school, a spokesperson said officials “don’t speak to student disciplinary processes while underway” and added that officials “will be communicating with students and faculty tonight about the range of resources we provide and will be providing.”

It is the latest in a string of racist incidents at the school that have targeted Black people.

In 2020, the university banned a basketball fan from all future sports events after she shouted a racist slur — the same one Rosing used — at a supporter of a visiting team. The fan — Ashley Lyles, who apologized in a statement to NBC affiliate WLEX of Lexington — was not a student, a university spokesperson said.

In the past, some students also complained about a mural on campus, dating to 1934, that depicted what some said were enslaved Black people. The mural was covered for more than a year as officials debated how to handle it before it was unveiled again in 2017 with a plaque next to it providing context about its history, concerns that had been raised about it over the years and how the university was working to ensure a more inclusive environment.

A spokesperson said that the university announced plans to remove it after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and that the building that houses the mural has been closed since then.

In 2008, a University of Kentucky student and another man were arrested and accused of hanging a life-size likeness of President-elect Barack Obama from a tree on the campus, an act that university officials condemned. A grand jury declined to indict the pair.

In response to those reports, a university spokesperson pointed to the school’s recent increase in enrollment of students of color — who now make up 16% of the student body, according to a September news release — and the school’s ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

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