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Covington Investigation Finds No Evidence of ‘Racist or Offensive Statements’ by Catholic Students in Viral Encounter

Weeks after the tense interaction between students at Covington Catholic High School and a Native American leader went viral, a private investigation has largely backed the teens’ version of events. The Washington Post reports Wednesday that a team of Cincinnati private investigators spent hundreds of hours reviewing footage and interviewing witnesses before concluding that there was no evidence that there were “racist or offensive statements by students to Mr. Phillips.” They did not, however, speak to Nathan Phillips or Nicholas Sandmann, the two people featured most prominently in the encounter. After the results were released, the Bishop of Covington reversed the diocese’s earlier condemnation of the students, noting that “my hope and expectation expressed in my letter to you of 25 January that the results of our inquiry ... would exonerate our students so that they can move forward with their lives’ has been realized.” The report doesn’t offer any guidance on how to prevent similar encounters in the future.