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Modesto, California police are investigating a Snapchat video of a White student threatening a Black classmate as a possible hate crime, NBC News reports.

The video shows the Central Catholic High School student holding a noose above his head while barking a racial slur. It cuts to an open gun case and then someone firing a gun. There’s no mistake about the intended target. The unidentified White student calls his Black classmate by his full name—first, middle, and last.

After getting no response from school officials, Tanya Porter, the Black student’s mother, contacted the local police.

Modesto Police Sgt. Chris Adams spoke with KCRA-TV:

“If we think it has something to do with a hate crime we’re going to investigate it as such and there really is no gray area for us, we’re going to make sure we investigate it to the fullest.”

Porter told KCRA-TV that she was appalled” upon learning about the video from her son. She added: “Just the history of how many people have hung from a tree with a noose around their neck … that’s associated with death.”

The concerned mother said she reported the video to Central Catholic on March 25, and gave them a copy of the video two weeks later. After the school’s long silence on the matter, Porter went to the police.

Central Catholic High School President Jim Pecchenino sent this statement to KCRA-TV:

“We have received what we believe is a copy of the video and are currently investigating the facts related to it. Our students and families are our top priority, and I can assure you we will take whatever steps we deem necessary to continue to insure their safety.”

But Porter questions the school’s safety priorities. She told the television station that the student in the video continues to attend classes on campus, unpunished. Porter is worried that he’s mentally unstable and could harm her son or some other student.



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