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Investigation finds no proof of ‘racist or offensive statements’ by Covington Catholic college students throughout incident on Mall that went viral

Investigation finds no evidence of ‘racist or offensive statements’ by Covington Catholic students during incident on Mall that went viral

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Investigation finds no proof of ‘racist or offensive statements’ by Covington Catholic college students throughout incident on Mall that went viral


© Social Media/Reuters
A pupil from Covington Catholic Excessive College stands in entrance of Native American Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips in Washington, U.S., on this nonetheless picture from a January 18, 2019 video by Kaya Taitano. Kaya Taitano/Social Media/through REUTERS

An investigation launched Wednesday into an encounter between Covington Catholic Excessive College college students and Native American activists on the Lincoln Memorial final month largely helps the scholars’ accounts of the incident, which prompted rapid and widespread condemnation of the boys after a video of the encounter went viral.

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A brief video clip confirmed Native American Nathan Phillips, taking part in a conventional drum and in an obvious standoff with a smiling pupil, Nick Sandmann, who was sporting a “Make America Nice Once more” hat. The Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic Excessive College, which organized the journey, have been amongst those that initially condemned the boys’ actions within the video.

The report, ready by Higher Cincinnati Investigation, Inc. and dated Feb. 11, employed 4 licensed investigators for roughly 240 hours to take statements from college students and chaperones, in addition to to interview third-party witnesses and evaluate about 50 hours of video. Investigators weren’t capable of interview both Phillips or Sandmann in particular person and as a substitute reviewed the scholar’s written account.

The investigators stated they discovered no proof that the scholars responded in an offensive method to the Black Hebrew Israelites or that they chanted “Construct the Wall.” After asking chaperones, they carried out a college cheer, in keeping with the report, to drown out the Black Hebrew Israelites.

Different key findings embrace testimony that the scholars felt “confused” by Phillips’s strategy. Investigators stated they discovered no proof of “racist or offensive statements by college students to Mr. Phillips,” although some carried out a “tomahawk chop.”

Based on the report, one of many chaperones informed college students that if “they engaged in a verbal trade with the Black Hebrew Israelites, they’d obtain detention when returning to highschool.”

Based on the report, most boys purchased the pink hats bearing President Trump’s MAGA slogan in Washington on the day of the March for Life. In earlier years, some college students purchased “Hope” hats in help of President Obama, the report says.

The Bishop of Covington welcomed the report in an announcement on the diocese’s web site. Roger Foys wrote that he was happy “that my hope and expectation expressed in my letter to you of 25 January that the outcomes of our inquiry … would ‘exonerate our college students in order that they’ll transfer ahead with their lives’ has been realized.”

In a joint assertion with the varsity, the diocese denounced the boys’s conduct the day after the march, calling it “against the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human particular person.”

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic Excessive College college students in direction of Nathan Phillips particularly, and Native Individuals generally,” the assertion learn.

Foys later wrote that he was “bullied and pressured into making an announcement prematurely” and that it’s “vital for us to collect the details that may permit us to find out what corrective actions, if any, are applicable.”

The report doesn’t present any suggestions for future adjustments, akin to banning political apparel or adjustments to chaperone protocol. Many individuals have been vital that the adults in cost didn’t intervene extra forcefully to keep away from or finish the interactions.

Nor does the report deal with underlying problems with range that have been raised earlier than it was launched, together with by native NAACP chief Jerome Bowles.

Any missteps, Bowles advised, occurred earlier than the scholars left for DC.

“There must be a take a look at range within the diocese generally. Covington Catholic is a really academically proficient instructional establishment, nobody questions that. However is the varsity completely getting ready college students for the workforce and a various world?” he requested.

Frances.Sellers@washpost.com



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