UTAH

No prosecutions after school district, police, wrap investigations into blackface video

Nov 8, 2022, 3:22 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
Screen shot taken from a video that shows three young people dressed in blackface and prison outfit...
FILE: Blurred screenshot of video showing kids in blackface in a Cedar City Walmart. (TikTok)
(TikTok)

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Both the Iron County School District and the Cedar City Police Department announced Tuesday they have concluded their investigations into a viral blackface video.

The video was taken on Oct. 31, 2022, and showed three people wearing blackface and dressed as prisoners for Halloween. A fourth person was dressed as a police officer.

The original video that was first published on TikTok was removed, but others have shared it.

Cedar City police confirmed that the video was shot in a Wal-Mart in Cedar City. They said they investigated and interviewed multiple people. Police said the investigation was given to the City Attorney’s office as well as the Office of the Iron County Attorney.

Both agencies reportedly determined there was no evidence of a crime and “therefore, nothing to prosecute,” according to a press release.

Iron County School District investigation

In its press release, the Iron County School District said the four males seen in the blackface video were not students in the Iron County district.

The investigation has definitively determined that the four male individuals prominently featured in the video are not students in a public education institution and the district has no recourse with those,” the Iron County School District said in the press release.

However, the district said that it identified other people featured in the viral video as Iron County students.

“Appropriate action, if warranted, has been taken with those individuals,” the district said. Federal privacy rules governing students prevent them from providing specifics.

The First Amendment, discrimination and condemnation

The Iron County School District said it supports an individual’s right to free speech as designated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“But it strongly denounces all forms of discrimination and racism whether those actions are on campus or off campus, in person or online,” the district said in a press release.

And it said it is looking for additional ways to “further enhance efforts to promote sensitivity and anti-discrimination.”

Likewise, the Cedar City Police Department said it condemns the “insensitivity and inappropriate acts of those involved,” and that it promotes “inclusivity and acceptance.”

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No prosecutions after school district, police, wrap investigations into blackface video