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No charges expected after black doll found hanging from noose at Eastern Michigan University

Student responsible has been found

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. – No charges are expected to be filed against a student who hung a black doll from a noose inside a residence hall shower at Eastern Michigan University, officials said.

The person responsible has already been caught, but the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office decided not to pursue ethnic intimidation charges.

"I don't know what to say," EMU senior Carrie Davis said. "I can't believe that happened here."

Word of the incident inside Best Hall on the EMU campus is spreading to other students and staff members.

"It's a little surprising," EMU sophomore Logan Anderson said. "We're usually about family here."

A resident advisor in Best Hall found a black doll hanging by a noose from the shower rod in a bathroom shared with roommates.

"You know, hanging a noose, then it's a black doll," EMU freshman Chadwick Hall said. "(That's something we've been) trying for years to avoid."

The person who hung the doll is an EMU student who was visiting and doesn't live in the suite with the other students. That student told administrators it was a prank with no malicious or racist intentions.

"I feel like it's a prank done in bad taste," EMU freshman Christina Giles said.

"Just one person being (dumb)," Hall said. "There's a lot of good kids here."

When the doll was found, EMU police and campus leaders got involved.

"There's probably something malicious," Davis said. "I can't believe people are like this."

Here is a statement from EMU officials:

"Eastern Michigan university Police took the case very seriously, dedicating extensive resources to the interviews of all key parties and other matters related to the investigation.

"The results of the EMU Police investigation were assembled in a 17-page report to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office, and included a warrant request for a charge of Ethnic Intimidation.

"On Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office advised EMU Police that after its review, it had declined to authorize an Ethnic Intimidation charge in the case: Prosecutor's decision.
The student conduct investigation, conducted by the university's Office of Wellness and Community Standards, remains ongoing. Given federal privacy laws governing student records, the University is not able to provide details of that investigation.

"This Prosecutor's decision in this case does not change how the university views this situation. The university remains deeply committed to the overarching principles of attacking both the historical legacies, and the current realities, of racism and hate in all of their forms. This is a nationwide struggle. We are not alone, we are not immune from it, and we will not shy away from it. This commitment was clearly articulated in the message to the Eastern Michigan University community from President James Smith on Feb. 13. We will continue to provide updates to the campus on initiatives that are underway, and that we plan to launch, in the coming weeks, months, and years to support minoritized members of our community and to continually educate our campus about these important issues."


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