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California university suspends fourth student in racial abuse case

(Reuters) - A fourth student at a California university has been suspended for being involved in alleged racially motivated abuse of a black student, an occurrence that has led to student protests on campus.

The suspension of the fourth student, which followed suspensions and misdemeanor hate crime charges against three other students, was disclosed by San Jose State University President Mohammed Qayoumi in a statement late Friday.

Qayoumi did not identify the fourth student or say whether he might also face charges. The victim in the incident that led to student protests at the campus in Northern California has not been named.

Logan Beaschler and Colin Warren, both 18, and Joseph Bomgardner, 19, have been charged with misdemeanor hate crime and battery against their black roommate, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Erin West said.

The three freshmen students are accused of using racist terms to refer to the young man, displayed Nazi symbols and a Confederate flag in their suite and once tried to put a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck, causing him minor injuries when he fought back, authorities said.

Qayoumi said he met Friday with the Reverend Jethroe Moore, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chapter of the NAACP and agreed take several steps to address the issue.

They will hold a news conference Monday on the criminal charges, host a campus forum on the topic in the first half of December and offer a lecture series next spring on diversity and tolerance.

"While these efforts move forward, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of SJSU's student code of conduct," Qayoumi said. "Our goal is including race-based misconduct in existing zero-tolerance student conduct policies."

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Eric Walsh)

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