An official investigation into the encounter between students from Covington Catholic High School and Native American activist Nathan Phillips found no proof of racist or offensive statements from the students.
Last month, the nation was divided on how to interpret viral footage that showed Phillips loudly beating a drum in front of smiling students at the March for Life rally.
Throughout the investigation, the detective agency spoke with all nine faculty chaperones and four parent chaperones.
In addition, the agency reviewed fifty hours of internet activity, including news, videos, and social media.
Their findings contradict initial media reports that painted the students as rabid racists.
In January, NBC News tweeted a picture of student Nick Sandmann with the caption “teenagers taunt elders.”
Diocese of Covington: “We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general.” https://t.co/4eqmckoLmr pic.twitter.com/ino47Nrp0G
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 19, 2019
NBC’s article also gave much credence to the Native American activist’s dubious account.
“Phillips told NBC News that some of the young people surrounding him chanted support for President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border,” the outlet reported.
But the detective agency reported that they “found no evidence of offensive or racist statements by students to Mr. Phillips or members of his group.”
In January, The New York Times reported that “Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for the Indigenous Peoples Movement, which organized the march, said he had also heard chants of ‘build that wall,’ a rallying cry of supporters of Mr. Trump.”
NBC similarly reported that “some young people appeared to surround Native Americans and others started to jump and chant.”
But according to the agency, there is “no evidence that the students performed a ‘Build the Wall’ chant.”
The same goes for the students’ encounter with the Black Hebrew Israelites.
“We see no evidence that students responded with any offensive or racist statements of their own,” the agency said.
It looks like the media was a little too quick to paint innocent high school kids as racist monsters.
Even the Bishop of Covington, Rev. Roger Foys, who now applauds the students, was quick to condemn the boys at first.
Everyone who pounded on these innocent kids should be ashamed of themselves.
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