BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano is warning students that recent alleged false police reports are unjustly targeting people of color and create a climate of fear on campus.

One incident involved a CU student accused by police of falsely claiming she was assaulted by a black man with a knife near the university campus. The woman pleaded not guilty and is facing charges.

Another involved a non-student who is accused of making a false report alleging he was attacked and robbed by a Hispanic man.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, university spokesman Bronson Hilliard says university officials want to emphasize respect for diversity on campus.

DiStefano sent an email to students this week warning that the reports “unjustly target people of color.”

“False accusations compromise a personal sense of safety and contribute to a climate of fear in our community that limits the freedom of movement, expression and learning,” DiStefano wrote. “False allegations not only violate the law and our student conduct code, they are also counter to the core values and principles that we strive to uphold at CU-Boulder.”

DiStefano asked that students examine their own biases and stereotypes.

“We need to hold each other accountable to a higher standard of human conduct and interaction,” he wrote.

“We’re being vocal about this because it impacts every person of color on our staff, faculty and in our student body, and even our visitors to campus,” said Hilliard. “We felt it was important to make a statement of our values.”

False reporting is a misdemeanor in Colorado, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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