A racially charged video posted on social media has parents and civil rights activists in Henrico County, Virginia calling for criminal charges.
WWBT-TV confirms that Henrico Police launched an investigation into the group of Short Pump Middle School football players behind the video to determine whether to file charges.
The video, which appeared on Snapchat, purportedly shows the White students pinning down their Black teammates on the locker room floor and benches while they dry hump them and yell racist comments. Text accompanying the video reads: “We gona (expletive) the black outta these African-American children from Uganda,” WTVR-TV reported.
Denisha Potts, vice president and interim education chair for the NAACP Chesterfield Branch, said in a statement that school officials must suspend the students, WWBT reported.
“It is my expectation that the students involved in this hateful act will face criminal charges appropriate to state and federal law. This blatant act of misconduct should not be tolerated in any of our school districts,” she added.
Meanwhile, the team has forfeited its season, according to WTVR. However, the coaches will hold practices and discuss sexual harassment, racial intolerance and accountability with the players. The principal, Thomas McAuley, called the video “appalling, disturbing, and inexcusable,” in a letter to parents.
Scolding the students doesn’t go far enough, Lorraine Wright with the “I Vote for Me” human rights group, told WWBT.
“What we will be doing is filing a federal complaint with the office of civil rights,” she said. “Clearly, the intent was to dehumanize the boy of color, and that’s something we can’t sweep under the rug and mischaracterize as ‘offensive and wrong’ because it was way beyond that.”