Riley County, Kansas, police declined to charge a 21-year-old man after he admitted Monday to inscribing racist graffiti on his own vehicle after first reporting it as a crime.
The words and phrases written in yellow on the Manhattan, Kansas, man’s black car last Wednesday morning included “Die Stupid N—–,” “Date Your Own Kind,” and “Go Home N—– Boy.” A backwards swastika also appeared on the windshield.
This resulted in local authorities bringing in the FBI. Kansas State University’s president, after receiving criticism for not condemning the attack loudly enough, denounced the off-campus graffiti as a “direct attack on the values of our community,” ordered an audit of all school security cameras, and publicized a service providing walking escorts for students worried about racist attacks. One student tweeted out a quote of a racist phrase written on the car above the words, “For those who think racism ended with Rosa Parks.” A member of K-State’s Black Student Union, calling the incident “intolerable,” told the Kansas City Star: “At this point students of color are becoming very frustrated.”
But less than a week after the purported November 1 vandalism, the victim revealed himself as the perpetrator.
“This admission led to a series of conversations between the Riley County Police Department Director Brad Schoen and the Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson,” read a statement on the police department’s Facebook page. “Director Schoen and County Attorney Wilkerson concluded that despite having filed a false report, the filing of criminal charges against Williams for having done so would not be in the best interests of the citizens who comprise the Manhattan community.”
The vehicle’s owner and vandalizer said sorry for crying wolf.
“I would like to deeply apologize to the community,” Dauntarius Williams explained in a statement released by the police on Monday, November 6. “The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started. It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night but I can’t. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all.”
The police describe Williams as “genuinely remorseful” and label his expressed regret as “sincere.” Days prior to the apology, Williams called the racist slogans painted on his car “hurtful” and “disappointing.” He further told the Kansas City Star, “I was not raised to discriminate.”
“While Williams’ mistake had a decidedly negative impact on the community,” Schoen explained, “please recognize that he, like many of us when we were young, is a young man who made a mistake and is now doing his best to own up to it.”
The Black Student Union that last week championed Williams’s cause this week calls for the cops to reconsider not charging him.
“The conduct of Mr. Williams does not negate the current racist and discriminatory actions that continue to occur on our campus and in our community, state and nation,” the group maintained in a statement. “Racism is systemic, visceral, complex and continuous.”