Investigators Clear Covington Catholic Students: ‘No Evidence of Offensive or Racist Statements’
In their official report released on Wednesday, independent investigators, hired by the Covington Diocese and Covington Catholic High School, cleared the students of any wrongdoing in the incident that went viral in January.
Since January 22, the four investigators have spent 240 man hours interviewing 43 students and the 13 chaperones, reviewing 50 hours of video footage, and looking at all kinds of social media posts. They were, however, unable to interview Nick Sandmann and Nathan Phillips, despite multiple attempts.
Their investigation found:
- “Some of them asked the chaperones if they could do their school cheers to help drown out the Black Hebrew Israelites. In years past students have performed school cheers at the Lincoln Memorial. Video evidence supports a finding that the Black Hebrew Israelites were laughing along with the students during the ‘sumo’ cheer. The cheers performed at the Lincoln Memorial are commonly performed at football or basketball games.”
- “We found no evidence that the students performed a “Build the Wall” chant.”
- “After the interaction with the Black Hebrew Israelites, Mr. Phillips approached the students. Most of the students state that they felt like he was coming into the group to join in with the students’ cheers. None of the students felt threatened by Mr. Phillips and many stated they were ‘confused.'”
- “We found no evidence of offensive or racist statements by students to Mr. Phillips or members of his own group. Some students performed a ‘tomahawk chop’ to the beat of Mr. Phillips’ drumming and some joined in Mr. Phillips’ chant.”
They found Phillips’ interviews to “contain some inconstancies” and were unable to clear them since they did not to interview him.
“The statements we obtained from the students and chaperones are remarkably consistent. And, the statements are consistent with the videos we reviewed. As with any investigation, new evidence could come to light in the future. We are professionally satisfied that, at this time, it is proper to close the investigation and issue this final report,” Chad Moran, one of the investigators, concluded.
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