Prosecutors will not charge the man who shouted racial slurs at Utah’s basketball team

City prosecutors said the Post Falls High student admitted to police after a three-week investigation that he shouted the N-word and a specific sex act at members of the team and tour group who are black.

The student told police he intended for the yelling “to be funny,” according to a statement from Deputy City Attorney Ryan Hunter.

Despite the “gross absurdity of that statement and the hideously disgusting thought process required to believe that it would be humorous to say something so disgusting,” Hunter said the actions, which amounted to protected speech under Idaho law, did not amount to criminal conduct.

Hunter said prosecutors investigated whether the 18-year-old’s actions could be considered a breach of the peace under the criminal code, but found there would be “no way to determine” that his screams were “loud or unusual” at the time of the murder. night.

At that time of day, Hunter said there were several “loud motorcycles/exhausts” traveling in that area and this came “against a backdrop of general commercial and pedestrian noise that is common on that main road and at that time of evening.”

“What has been clear from the very beginning of this incident is that it was not when, where or how (the student) made the grotesque racist statement that sparked the righteous indignation in this case; it was the grotesque racial statement itself.

“Thus, any attempt to prosecute (him) for disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct would inevitably depend on the content of what he said to establish both crimes, which would clearly violate (his) rights to freedom of expression as contemplated under both the First Amendment and the First Amendment. to the Constitution of the United States and…the Constitution of Idaho.”

Idaho lawmakers are questioning reports of racial harassment by the U of U women’s basketball team

The incident in question occurred on March 21 in Coeur d’Alene when approximately 100 members of the women’s basketball team, band, cheerleading team and administrative staff walked to Crafted Tap House + Kitchen for an end-of-season dinner.

During the walk, several members of the party said someone in a white truck revved the engine as it passed them and yelled the N-word at the party before driving away. After the dinner, which lasted about two hours, members of the party said the N-word was shouted at the group again, but this time from multiple trucks with their engines running.

Coeur d’Alene police gathered surveillance footage from the area and had five “credible eyewitness statements” that confirmed someone shouted the N-word, corroborating the audio of the incident after the team left the restaurant.

Police said audio and video from the night could not corroborate anything, but that something was said before the team arrived at the restaurant, although three different trucks drove past the restaurant and that “all three trucks appeared to be modified with lift kits and each made a lot of noise while accelerating.”

“While that same surveillance video captured multiple instances of loud engine and muffler noise over the next hour, no audio evidence was captured indicating vehicles “revving” their engines. …Furthermore, there is no audio evidence that the occupants of any of those three trucks – or any other vehicle – shouted the N-word – or anything else – during the period in which the U of U contingent was walking to Crafted,” Hunter said in the declaration.

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Jim Hammond told the Spokesman-Review he was “disappointed” in the outcome and hopes the student’s parents will help him understand his actions.

“I’m disappointed that there’s no accountability whatsoever,” Hammond said. “I am not going to question the prosecutor who made this decision, but I am disappointed that there is no form of community service that the child can do to be held accountable.”