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Texas A&M police: No crime committed in racist notes case

Texas A&M police: No crime committed in racist notes case

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The Texas A&M University Police Department has closed its investigation regarding racist notes found on a student’s car at the Park West Apartment complex. 

A&M student Isaih Martin tweeted photos of his car on June 24 with three messages on it that included a racial slur, “You don’t belong here” and “All lives matter” in the parking lot of his College Station apartment. 

In a Thursday interview, Martin said he recently stopped communicating with UPD about the incident after an officer implied that Martin had placed the notes himself. The police report released to The Eagle on Thursday said that “no other person had enough time to place the messages on Martin’s car other than himself.” 

The report says that a UPD officer investigating the case contacted the Brazos County Attorney’s office to see if the incident of notes being left on the vehicle was a crime, but the officer “was told that this fell under the 1st Amendment free speech protection and that no crime had occurred.” The officer also stated in the report that he contacted the county attorney’s office to see if the incident was considered a false report but was told it was not since “Martin did not report a crime.”

In a Wednesday phone interview before the police report being released, UPD spokesman Lt. Bobby Richardson said one of the reasons the investigation was closed was because no criminal offense had been committed. 

The report makes mention of video footage that showed a person and a dog were by Martin’s vehicle for a few seconds, and soon after a different person and small dog walked by. The report says that the second person appeared to stop by the car for a few seconds but “does not appear to leave the sidewalk and appears to be looking away from Martin’s vehicle.” 

The report says that a few minutes later Martin is seen at the car again and remains there — at one point appearing to take photos — for a little more than a minute before driving away.

When Martin recalled the footage that police showed him, he said a person had been in front of his car for what he believes was long enough to leave the notes. 

On June 25, A&M President Michael K. Young announced that A&M was offering a $1,200 reward based on information that would lead to identifying who was responsible for the notes. On Thursday, an A&M official emailed a statement from Young to The Eagle

“Racism of any kind has no place at Texas A&M,” the message reads. “I appreciate the efforts of university police who investigated with professionalism in pursuit of facts. We will continue to take an active stance to review claims of harassment, stalking and/or related retaliation that violate a person’s civil rights, wherever it may lead. We will continue to develop a safe and welcoming environment.”

Martin said Thursday that after the officer implied he had put the notes on his car himself, he sought advice from an attorney and then decided to stop speaking with the police. Martin said he stopped talking to police because “it wasn’t helpful” if “they weren’t actually going to do their job and find out who did it.” 

Martin outlined his perspective on the situation on Twitter this week, expressing frustration with the situation and officers involved.

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