Police officers in Illinois are investigating an 11-second video showing a Black high school football player forced to sit near banana peels shot in a locker room on Thursday, April 8.
In the hazing incident, a Black football player at Moline High School was targeted in an an incident described by Moline Police Chief Darren Gault as a “disturbing racist scene.”
Moline-Coal Valley School District officials said they were aware of the footage of the incident, which was shared widely on social media on Friday. All of the players involved have been identified.
Gault said, “We all agree that this is a disgusting way to treat a fellow teammate, a fellow human being and most certainly a friend.”
In the video, the player filming, whose face is not shown, told the Black player to sit inside the locker with banana peel hanging inside of it, “or I’ll break both your knees.”
When the player sat, the person filming, as well other team members, could be heard cheering.
After district officials learned about the video on Friday evening, detectives conducted interviews of students, athletes and staff members over the weekend and turned the findings over to prosecutors. According to Gault, the people involved were “of both different and similar races to the victim.”
District officials are also conducting an ongoing investigation into whether any school code violations or violations of district polices.
The victim, whose name has not been made public, released a U.S. News & World Report as roughly 56 percent white, 27 percent Hispanic and less than 10 percent Black.
She added that it is important that the community works together to encourage “respectful and accepting treatment of all in and out of the classroom, on and off the field, and inside and outside of our schools.”