Football

Mass. police release findings of hate speech investigation following anthem protest

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) ORG XMIT: FXN102

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem (Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press)

The Great Barrington (Mass.) Police Department announced that it had closed its investigation into an alleged racial incident at Monument Mountain Regional High and released its findings, according to WWLP.

Police Chief William Walsh said “the remarks and language used during this incident are reprehensible” but said the police determined the speech did not  “constitute a prosecutable offense.” He said the remarks are “not condoned by the police department or the community of Great Barrington,” WWLP reported.

Walsh said a verbal altercation between two students on Sept. 26 began after a varsity football player took a knee during the national anthem before the Sept. 23 game.  Authorities say another student reportedly made hateful, threatening comments to the player that referenced lynching. The player reported the incident to school authorities.

“The altercation did not rise to a physical level, though the alleged words used were very concerning and prompted the police department to open an investigation,” Walsh said.

State and federal agencies were involved and the determination was made not to prosecute.

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