Friday night local social media feeds blew up with a video of an African American player being forced to sit in a football locker with banana peels hanging from it as other players laugh and make fun.
It is unclear who made the video and the School District and the Moline Police Department have launched their separate investigations.
Out-going School Board President and Mayor-elect Sangeetha Rayapati released a statement Saturday morning.
“As out-going President of the Moline-Coal Valley School Board and Mayor-Elect of Moline, I want to address the incident many in our community observed online Friday night, involving members of our high school football team. As a human, I’m frustrated, dismayed, and appalled—among many other emotions. As a community leader and elected official, I know I, myself and fellow leaders have a responsibility to hold individuals involved in this incident accountable and intend to do just that.”
“No one has a right to dehumanize their classmate or teammate.”
“We must let investigations take place according to appropriate protocols to address this behavior, but we can turn toward our neighbors, and show them the good that is in all of us. We can find ways to reassure our children that they don’t have to fear this kind of treatment in Moline. There is no place for hate in Moline” Rayapati said on her statement.
Late Friday night the Moline PD released their official statement.
“On Friday evening, around 7:30pm, the Moline Police Department became aware of a Viral video circulating on social media that depicted a disgusting and disturbing racist scene of bullying and assault of a Moline High School football player in a locker room.
Immediately the Moline Police Department Criminal Investigation Division began an investigation into this video and the circumstances surrounding the incident. At approximately 11:20pm, the high school football team bus returned to Moline and was met by Moline Police detectives. At the time of this press release late Friday evening, the police detectives had located the victim and were gathering more information. We are aware that the victim knows the individuals who filmed the incidents. We are aware they are teammates and may be friends. Regardless of these facts, the incident is disturbing.
It is important to understand that this incident will be investigated separately by the Moline Police Department and the Moline-Coal Valley School District.
Once the police department completes the criminal investigation, the facts gathered Will be presented to the Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal for review.”
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident to contact them.
You can call the investigations division directly at 309-524-2140, or call Crime Stoppers of the Quad-Cities at 309-762-9500.
(See complete press statement below)