WARREN, Mich. – An internal report detailing the alleged “broomsticking” hazing ritual of the Warren De La Salle football team has come to light a day after arrest warrants were announced for seven players.
The report was commissioned by the school and was ordered after complaints about the ritual were brought forth last November.
In early December -- after allegations of hazing became public and the De La Salle president canceled the football season -- school officials hired Clark Hill Law Firm to conduct an investigation.
The hazing incident in question happened Oct. 19 and included students being forcibly held down and prodded with a broomstick while their clothes were on, according to authorities.
It was considered a rite of passage and a dysfunctional football tradition that left no lasting harm, the report says.
Warren detectives interviewed dozens of players during their investigation, and Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said he doesn’t agree that the hazing was just horseplay, especially since it goes back at least four years, according to officials.
“It does a disservice to the school, the parents and the victims, and we know there were many more victims -- as many as 20 or more," Dwyer said.
Given the eventual lack of cooperation with police and prosecutor investigations, Dwyer thinks this investigation is little more than a cover-up by school administration.
“I think hiring this attorney, quite frankly, said what they wanted him to say, so it’s pretty disturbing," Dwyer said.
Police said another galling part of the report was a conclusion that it’s OK for parents and students not to talk to police but they don’t have the right to refuse answering questions by school administrators.
- Nov. 1, 2019: Warren police begin to investigate hazing allegations
- Nov. 5, 2019: Investigation into hazing incident intensifies
- Nov. 8, 2019: Officials announce 3 teens could face charges
- Nov. 8, 2019: Hazing victim refuses to be interviewed
- Nov. 20, 2019: St. Clair County prosecutor appointed to case
- Dec. 17, 2019: Parents protest to have school president fired
- Jan. 10, 2020: Students return to class after hazing accusations
- Jan. 28, 2020: Prosecutors blast De La Salle for handling of investigation
- Jan. 29, 2020: New victim comes forward
- Jan. 29, 2020: Victim pledges to speak to police
- Jan. 30, 2020: Second accuser comes forward
- Feb. 20, 2020: 7 people expected to face charges, Warren police say