After an FBI led investigation into a Nov. 1 incident, a black Kansas man admitted to tagging his own car with racist graffiti that increased racial tension and caused public outrage.
He said it was simply a “Halloween prank that got out of hand,” police said Monday.
The car—which was parked in an apartment complex near Kansas State University—was covered in washable yellow paint with slurs like “Go Home Nigger Boy,” “Fuck You Die Dumb Nigger,” and “Date Your Own Kind,” scrawled over it. The vandalism roused tensions at the university and within the community of Manhattan, Kan., where the campus is located, prompting an emergency meeting of the Black Student Union that brought out administrators, community leaders and students, reported The Root.
Kansas State University held a Facebook Live event the following day with worried parents, and increased its patrols on campus.
The FBI had even opened a civil rights investigation into a possible hate crime.
On Monday, the Riley County (Kan.) Police Department issued a press release, saying that the owner of the car, 21-year-old Dauntarius Williams, admitted he was responsible for vandalizing his own car.
Authorities decided not to charge him for filing a false report because they believe it would “not be in the best interests” of the community.
Police said Williams was “genuinely remorseful and expressed sincere regret” after seeing the negative outcome from his prank.
“The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started,” Williams said. “It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night but I can’t. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all.”
The police department is encouraging people to be forgiving to the young man who made a mistake.
“While Williams’ mistake had a decidedly negative impact on the community, please recognize that he, like many of us when we were young, is a young man who made a mistake and is now doing his best to own up to it,” Brad Schoen, director of the Riley County Police Department, said in a statement.
Kansas State University decided to continue the increased patrols, acknowledging that even though the incident wasn’t real, “the emotions were.”
The hoax came after several high tension incidents at the school.
Last month, an anti-gay slur was found outside the university student union. In September, white supremacist fliers were found on campus. And in May, a noose was found hanging from a campus tree. No arrests were made in any of these incidents.
(Article By James Carter)