A Plattsburgh man has been arrested in connection with alleged racial threats against an African-American SUNY Plattsburgh student. The Plattsburgh Police say Dustin Ormsby, 27, is charged with misdemeanor second-degree aggravated harassment.
They got a call in the middle of Thursday afternoon about the purported harassment. Investigators say the student in question captured cell phone video of Ormsby yelling racial slurs and other threats at him.
“A lot of (Black) students here feel unsafe,” SUNY Plattsburgh junior Daniela Raymond said. “We pay to go to school here as Black students, just the same as White students do, but we’re not offered that same sort of protection.”
Raymond said the incident happened outside the fraternity house of Phi Beta Sigma, which is historically a Black fraternity. She added not only that the alleged victim is a brother of that fraternity, but that Ormsby lives next door to the Phi Beta Sigma house.
“Now he’s out,” Raymond said. “He’s literally still living next to him, so they didn’t really do anything at all.”
Two White students said Friday that quite a few people on the Lake City campus are sad and disgusted.
“I do know that it has hurt the community here, and a lot of students here — it’s really weighing on their hearts,” Chloe Yerger said.
“I am deeply ashamed that this still happens in New York, and even still in America to this day,” Cody Bostinto said. “I thought things have changed since we’re in 2022, but clearly, it just hasn’t.”
Raymond, meanwhile, said she’s well aware of that.
“This won’t be the last time that it happens; I know that,” she said. “Before I graduate, there will be at least a couple of more incidents that happen.”
As Raymond alluded to, Ormsby has been released on his own recognizance following his arraignment. It wasn’t clear Friday night when he would have to return to court.
SUNY Plattsburgh’s Center for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is looking into the matter. They, and Plattsburgh police, both declined to be interviewed for this story.
Local 22 & Local 44 also reached out to SUNY Plattsburgh president Dr. Alexander Enyedi’s office. No one replied, but Enyedi has said that the university has provided the student a safe new place to live.