An independent investigation has declared that students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky are not guilty of any wrongdoing in connection with an incident that occurred with a Native American elder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last month.
What are the details?
A viral video emerged of Native American activist Nathan Phillips interacting with Covington Catholic High School boys, who were attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
The video sparked a frenzy, and the media began pointing fingers at the boys for taunting Phillips while he demonstrated.
When other videos of the incident emerged, the narrative changed entirely — and the teens at the center of the controversy were vindicated. You can read more about the background of the incident here.
Greater Cincinnati Investigation, Inc., conducted the inquiry, and discovered that accounts of the young men on the trip were consistent with videos that exonerated them. The Diocese of Covington hired the independent firm.
The kids' accounts noted that they were the ones harassed by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites.
A portion of the investigative report said, "Some of the students asked the chaperones if they could do their school cheers to help drown out the Black Hebrew Israelites. After the interaction with the Black Hebrew Israelites, Mr. Phillips approached the students.
"We found no evidence of offensive or racist statements by students to Mr. Phillips or members of his group," the report added.
The report noted that the students thought Phillips was coming over to join their school cheers, and stated that no Covington students felt threatened by Phillips' presence.
What did the Covington bishop say?
Roger J. Foys, the bishop of Covington, celebrated the report.
"Our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening," Foys said in a statement. "Their reaction to the situation was, given the circumstances, expected and one might even say laudatory."
Meanwhile, one of the Covington students is gearing up for possible legal action against Phillips, as well as against the media. Some of the media outlets include The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN.