Two held over 'we hate blacks' chants at university

Two men have been arrested by police as part of inquiries into a video showing "vile" racist abuse being chanted outside the room of a black student.

Nottinghamshire Police said the suspects, both aged 18, had been held in connection with racially aggravated public order offences.

A police spokesman confirmed the arrests shortly after Nottingham Trent University student Rufaro Chisango told the BBC the chanting at her halls of residence left her feeling "shocked, isolated and uncomfortable".

Nottingham Trent University said an unspecified number of "suspected perpetrators" have been suspended after the abuse was captured on video and reported to security staff by Ms Chisango.

Nottinghamshire Police are investigating the video, which captured at least two males chanting "we hate blacks" and making other racist comments.

Other chants captured by the video include "We are the blacks haters" and "Sign the Brexit papers".

At one point during the minute-long video, a female interrupts the chants, saying: "Leave her alone."

Ms Chisango, who posted footage of the incident on Twitter, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme the abuse earlier this week had a "big impact" on her, leaving her feeling shocked and isolated.

The student said: "I just want the appropriate action to be taking place. Obviously it's racial abuse. It should not be tolerated at all."

Asked if she intended to contact the police, she said she wanted to wait to see what action was taken by the university.

Mary Okpo, of Nottingham Trent's African Caribbean Society, told the BBC the incident was "unjustifiable and unacceptable".

"Whether they were inebriated or not, there's nothing that can justify what they said," she said of the students involved.

"This was a terrible, terrible incident. It's something that I didn't think I would see. For it to be so overt, open, in 2018. It's something that really, really shocked me."

Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement: "We are aware of a video posted at Nottingham Trent University and which has been shared on social media.

"It is wholly unacceptable and we're proactively investigating the incident and liaising with the university."

In a statement confirming "suspected perpetrators" had been suspended pending a full investigation, Nottingham Trent University said: "This kind of vile behaviour will not be tolerated.

"We have contacted the student who made the complaint and are providing support to her and others affected. And we will be liaising with the police about this incident."

Among those who offered support on Twitter to Ms Chisango was the Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, who tweeted: "Please contact the Police and your Member of Parliament and cc me in. All my love and solidarity."

Actor and radio presenter Adil Ray tweeted: "This is a whole new low to see this at our universities."

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