Former VT student files Federal suit accusing school of violating rights

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A former Virginia Tech student and foreign national charged with possessing an assault weapon that is not permitted for non-citizens has filed a Federal lawsuit, claiming his rights have been violated.

In his lawsuit Yunsong Zhao, 19, claims Virginia Tech and three university law enforcement officers violated "rights guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution."

A citizen of China, Zhao claims his status under an F-1 Student Visa entitles him to legal rights under federal law and the United States Constitution.

"This case is about over-eager police trampling over a foreign student’s
rights because he resembles a student who committed a mass shooting on Virginia Tech’s campus in 2007," attorneys wrote in Zhao's complaint. "The Virginia Tech Police Department targeted Mr. Zhao based on his national origin and his stated interest in guns and arrested him on evidence that is known to be false."

Zhao was arrested January 29 and spent more than a month in jail before a judge granted bond in early March. In Zhao's complaint, attorneys said Virginia Tech Police were never able to locate any evidence to corroborate the only criminal allegation they have against him.

"The facts show that Mr. Zhao has never possessed a 30-round magazine in violation of Virginia law," the complaint states.

Zhao is requesting a jury trial in Federal court to resolve his complaint.