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No charges for Portage Central student accused of racist video

Posted at 12:42 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 12:42:46-05

PORTAGE, Mich. — A Portage Central High School student accused of sending a “racist and threatening” video out through Snapchat won’t face criminal charges.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says that while the teen’s actions were reprehensible, criminal charges weren’t necessary in this case.

“Through the course of this investigation, what we found was there was no specific intent of a threat to an individual, there was no specific threat to an educational institution, one of our schools. There was no specific action directed towards a person,” Getting said.

The video showed the student repeatedly using a racial slur, pulling out an airsoft pistol and pointing at the camera while wearing a Portage Central soccer schedule.

Prosecutors looked into several possible charges in the incident, including assault, cyberbullying and ethnic intimidation.

“We considered all those different kinds of charges that may be applicable in a situation like this, but all of them require different sets of proofs, but each of them have in common this specific intent of a threat directed towards a person, towards an institution and that’s lacking here,” Getting said.

He said police investigated the teen and his internet searches to determine if he had any intentions of assaulting someone or taking a weapon to school. The investigation didn’t find any specific threats to anyone or anything.