By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – A probe right into a videotaped incident on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. involving Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty college students and Native American activists in January has discovered no proof that the youngsters provoked a confrontation.
A non-public investigation agency retained by Covington Diocese in Park Hills, Kentucky studied the incident, which sparked outrage on social media. Its report was made public by the diocese on Wednesday.
Better Cincinnati Investigation discovered that the scholars, who had been in Washington D.C. to attend the March for Life anti-abortion rally, had been met on the Lincoln Memorial by offensive assertion by members of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
“We see no proof that college students responded with any offensive or racist statements of their very own,” the report discovered, saying they responded by finishing up a college cheer.
The investigation additionally decided that the scholars didn’t direct any racist or offensive feedback towards a Native American activist, Nathan Phillips, who waded into their group, though a number of carried out a “tomahawk chop” to the beat of his drum.
In a photograph that went viral from the incident Covington scholar Nick Sandmann, sporting a pink baseball caps emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Nice Once more” slogan, is seen standing nose to nose with the Phillips, gazing him with a smile whereas Phillips sings and performs his drum.
Phillips claimed in a separate video that he heard the scholars chanting “construct that wall,” through the encounter.
The investigators mentioned they discovered no proof of such a chant and that Phillips didn’t reply to a number of makes an attempt to contact him.
Sandman has mentioned that Phillips waded into the group of scholars and commenced enjoying his drum as he locked eyes with him.
“I by no means interacted with this protester. I didn’t converse to him. I didn’t make any hand gestures or different aggressive strikes,” Sandmann mentioned in a tweet on the time, including that he was “startled and confused” as to why Phillips approached him.
Bishop Roger Foys, in a written assertion, praised the scholars for his or her actions on the Lincoln Memorial.
“The instant world-wide response to the preliminary video led virtually everybody to imagine that our college students had initiated the incident and the notion of these jiffy of video turned actuality,” Foys mentioned.
“In fact, taking every little thing under consideration, our college students had been positioned in a state of affairs that was directly weird and even threatening,” he mentioned.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Modifying by David Gregorio)