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No charges filed in racial incident involving University of Utah women’s basketball team

Gonzaga and Utah play the first half of a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., Monday, March 25, 2024.
Young Kwak
Associated Press
Gonzaga and Utah play the first half of a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., Monday, March 25, 2024.

The Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office announced this week it will not be filing charges in a racist incident involving the University of Utah women’s basketball team.

The team was staying at the Coeur d’Alene Resort while they were playing in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in nearby Spokane, Washington in March. In the initial report of the incident, Robert Moyer, a financial booster for the team, told the Coeur d’Alene Police department two lifted pickup trucks “revved their engines and sped by the U of U contingent” as they walked to a nearby restaurant for a dinner reservation, according to the charging decision.

Moyer also said the trucks turned around and drove by again, shouting a racist slur at the team.

“Based on that report, CDA Police Department began an exhaustive three-week investigation, during which they interviewed nearly two-dozen witnesses and meticulously poured over hours of surveillance video,” wrote the prosecutor in the charging decision.

During the investigation, surveillance video captured a silver passenger car driving in the area, from which someone can be heard shouting, “I hate [N word]s, but I’ll f*** your butt,” according to the decision.

The identities of the four people in one of the vehicles were identified, including 18-year-old Anthony Myers, a male student at post Falls High School, who made the offensive statement containing the racial slur.

The investigation also established Myers shouted the N-word as the vehicle passed in front of the restaurant, where the team was eating. Myers tried to retract part of his confession and said another person in the vehicle made the statement, but the prosecutor wrote there is very little evidence to support that claim.

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department referred this case to the City Attorney’s Office for review on whether the teenager’s conduct violated any laws, specifically for Disturbing the Peace pursuant to Idaho code § 18-6409 and Disorderly Conduct pursuant to Coeur d’Alene Municipal Code § 9.22.010. City Attorney Ryan S. Hunter also considered whether the behavior violated a third statute: Malicious Harassment pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-7902.

Ultimately, the prosecution declined to file charges because of insufficient evidence to establish probable cause “as to every element of any potential offense(s) without reliance on First Amendment protected speech,” wrote Hunter in the decision.

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