An investigation into the events that surrounded the now-notorious video of the Covington High School students wearing 'MAGA' hats confronting an elderly Native American has concluded that they did nothing wrong.
The inquiry, which was conducted by the Greater Cincinnati Investigation Inc, a third party organisation with no connection to Covington, found that after viewing 240 hours of footage and reviewing the accounts of Nick Sandmann, the boy at the centre of the video, his classmates and chaperones were consistent with videos that have been circulated online and didn't instigate the altercation.
After the initial footage of the confrontation went viral, additional footage was found from their trip to Washington DC on 18 January, which may have suggested that they weren't to blame for the incident.
A group of so-called Black Hebrew Israelites had been accused of instigating the trouble by Sandmann's mother, with the investigation citing that the students used a school chant to drown out the opposing groups remarks.
The investigation, which was prepared at the behest of the Diocese of Covington, were consistent between all parties, that there were no chants of 'build the wall' and that Sandmann actually tried to diffuse the situation.
Interestingly, the report stated that the group did not feel threatened by Nathan Phillips and initially believed that he had come over to join in with their chants.
In a letter written by the bishop of Covington. Rev. Roger Foys, he added that the students had been exonerated as their actions had been misrepresented.
The immediate world-wide reaction to the initial video led almost everyone to believe that our students had initiated the incident and the perception of those few minutes of video became reality.
In truth, taking everything into account, our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening.
Their reaction to the situation was, given the circumstances, expected and one might even say laudatory.
These students had come to Washington, D.C. to support life. They marched peacefully with hundreds of thousands of others – young and old and in-between – to further the cause of life.
These young high school students could never have expected what they experienced on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while waiting for the busses to take them home.
Their stance there was surely a pro-life stance. I commend them.
The full report, which is available to read here, did conclude that the students did make a 'tomahawk chop' motion and that they were wearing 'MAGA' hats.
Both the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School had initially distanced and condemned the students, they have since offered them their support.