PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Tributes are pouring in for the Rutgers freshman who killed himself after an intimate moment was streamed over the Internet. The support has not been lost on the young man’s family.
Rutgers students continued to mourn the death of Tyler Clementi with flowers, remembrance books and a ceremonial wearing of black on a day they dubbed “Black Friday,” CBS 2’s John Metaxas reports.
Students were encouraged to leave flowers or mementos at a makeshift memorial for Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River last week.
The Rutgers football team also planned a moment of silence before its game Saturday against Tulane.
Clementi’s family is speaking out for the first time, saying that their son’s funeral will be private.
“We ask that our request for privacy in this painful time continue to be respected,” the family said in a written statement,”the outpouring of emotion and support from our friends, community and family — and from across the country — has been humbling and deeply moving. We thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The family also thanked law enforcement officials for their efforts and acknowledged the public nature of their tragedy.
“We understand that our family’s personal tragedy presents important legal issues for the country as well as for us. Regardless of legal outcomes, our hope is that our family’s personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy and human dignity,” the statement read.
Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi and another freshman, Molly Wei, are charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taping and streaming Clementi’s intimate rendezvous with another man days before his suicide.
On Friday, New Jersey Sen. Shirley Turner proposed a bill upping the maximum sentence for invasion of privacy from five to 10 years in prison.
On campus, students seem more focused on Clementi.
“I’m not going to the wake or the funeral… I felt like I should wear all black for him today,” junior Stephanie Davies said.