Disclaimer: What we are about to share is disturbing as hell, but the importance of bringing awareness to such atrocious situations shouldn’t be minimized.
On October 28, a white University of Hartford freshman named Brianna Brochu—who boasted on social media about methodically poisoning her Black roommate by spitting in her coconut oil, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, and placing her toothbrush in “places where the sun doesn’t shine”—has been arrested. According to an Instagram post shared by Brochu, her dangerous and unconscionable actions were an effort to “get rid of” Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, who she barbarically referred to as “Jamaican Barbie.”
Rowe, who recounted her experiences living with Brochu in a Facebook video, says she began “getting sick” and eventually needing antibiotics before deciding to move out due to their “rocky relationship,” as explained by youth culture news site The Tab.
“It started with throat pain,” Rowe explained. “I thought maybe because it’s colder up here, I’m just catching a cold. After a month it got to the point where I had extreme throat pain that I couldn’t sleep, to the point where I couldn’t speak. … I’m spending my own money that my parents give me for food and groceries, the health center on campus is not free—in fact they’re expensive.”
It wasn’t until Rowe found Instagram posts in which Brochu detailed attempting to harm her that she realized what was happening.
“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!!” Brochu wrote in an Instagram post before eventually marking her account as private. “After 1 1/12 month [sic] of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”
On Tuesday, Hartford University confirmed a student arrest related to the incident. Brochu was reportedly charged with second-degree breach of peace and third-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, according to state court records. The school also stated via Twitter that it is “currently in communication with the student and her family” and plans to “strictly follow” its “disciplinary process.”
In the meantime, it isn’t lost on us how much worse this situation could have been for Rowe. This is just another stark reminder that safe spaces for Black people are virtually nonexistent.