The results of an independent investigation into the January 18, 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation between leftist activist Nathan Phillips, black supremacist group the Black Hebrew Israelites and students from Covington Catholic High School were released Wednesday by Greater Cincinatti Investigation, Inc.
The report, which is four pages long, shows what everyone could have known initially if the time was taken to reach for context: Covington students didn't use a single racial slur against either Phillips or the Black Hebrew Israelites and they didn't instigate the confrontation. In fact, it was the opposite.
"We found no evidence of offensive or racist statements by students to Mr. Phillips or members of his group,” the report states. "We found no evidence that the students performed a 'Build the Wall' chant."
The incident went viral after a tiny portion of the more than hour long ordeal was posted on the internet. The boys from Covington, who are teenagers, were accused of "staring down" and hurling racial statements. There was no evidence of this, but because they were white boys wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, confirmation bias claimed it was true. Journalists took Phillips at his word, not because it was true, but because he is Native American. Interestingly, the investigation found in years past some students purchased "Hope" hats in support of former President Barack Obama.
Despite the Black Hebrew Israelites yelling racial slurs at the boys, saying they "were white incest babies" and threatening to harvest their organs, the students were warned not to respond.
"Some students stated that one of the chaperones reminded the students that, if they engaged in a verbal exchange with the Black Israelites, they would receive detention when returning to school," the report states.
Investigators reviewed 50 hours of media on the situation, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and footage used by major news networks. They interviewed dozens of people.
Not surprisingly Phillips, who lied about what the Covington boys said (claiming they chanted 'Build the Wall' -which by the way, isn't a racial slur) and about serving in Vietnam, refused to participate in the investigation.
"We have attempted to reach out to Mr. Phillips by phone and by e-mail, informing him that we desired to interview him in person and that we were prepared to meet him in Michigan or any location he might prefer. We also sent Mr. Phillips' daughter an e-mail as they both appear to be involved in the Native Youth Alliance and have shared their e-mail addresses after the event to thank everyone for reaching out and supporting them. We never received a response to our inquiries," the report states. "Mr. Phillip's public interviews contain some inconsistencies, and we have not been able to resolve them or verify his comments due to our inability to contact him."
Overall the investigation found the Covington boys consistently told the truth about what happened. Nathan Phillips is a liar who instigated the situation and the media, with help from politicians and Hollywood celebrities, broadly amplified his false claims.
"The statements we obtained from students and chaperones were remarkably consistent. And, the statements are consistent with the videos we reviewed," the report concludes.
Parents of the boys who were smeared by false claims are still weighing legal action.
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