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Report: Georgetown police found no evidence of racial slurs at football game, but didn’t ask Roxbury Prep

The investigation was halted in favor of an independent inquiry that has yet to complete.

Coach Willie McGinnis, of Roxbury Prep addresses the team before hosting Millis at West Roxbury High one week after a skirmish broke out late in Georgetown's game against Roxbury Prep last fall. Josh Reynold for The Boston Globe

An incomplete Georgetown police investigation into the alleged use of racial slurs against Roxbury Prep at a football game last fall found no evidence that racist language had been used.

But police hadn’t asked anyone on the Roxbury side before the investigation was suspended in favor of an independent inquiry.

The Boston Globe, which obtained a copy of the 60 pages of documents, reported that police didn’t find evidence of racial slurs used by the Georgetown team or its fans at the game, which took place at Georgetown High School.

An altercation broke out between the two teams, and Roxbury coaches alleged at the time that it was spurred by the racial epithets used by Georgetown. The language was said to have come from fans and players alike.

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Police didn’t finish their investigation, since the two school districts agreed to hire an independent investigator to look into what happened. However, police did speak with over 30 witnesses prior to that, and none of them said they heard any racially charged language during the game, the Globe reported.

Police mostly interviewed witnesses that had a tie to Georgetown; none were from the Roxbury side, according to the Globe.

One witness who said she had previously organized a Black Lives Matter gathering in Georgetown told police she “would have addressed it right away” if she’d heard a racial slur at the game, but she did not hear any, a police report states.

Barbara Martinez, a spokesperson for Roxbury Prep, told the Globe that “it was clear by all accounts that Roxbury Prep players, coaches, and family members complained throughout the game about racial epithets loudly voiced against them with no actions taken by those who were in a position to stop these insults.”

“Throughout this process, the Roxbury Prep community has aided all parties in the investigation in order to ensure justice is served,” Martinez said. “We look forward to seeing the independent investigator’s report.”

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Georgetown Police Chief Donald Cudmore declined to comment to the Globe, other than to say he supported what the officers found.

The two districts have hired Giselle Joffre, a former assistant U.S. attorney and partner at Foley Hoag, to investigate what happened, the Globe reported.

While both districts agreed to pay $75,000 each for the investigation, the cost has exceeded $150,000, the Globe reported. Each team also faces bills of over $21,000, and the schools’ attorneys are also talking with the law firm over future payments. With each school paying thousands for its attorneys, the anticipated cost for each is expected to be more than $100,000.

The Georgetown-Roxbury Prep incident is one of several that took place during high school football games last fall. Students at Xaverian Brothers High School allegedly used hateful language on the Brockton High School marching band and halftime performers in November.

The Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School suspended its football team after “unprincipled behavior.” 

A coach was fired in Newton after allegedly using a racial slur. A Catholic High School allegedly used racial slurs against another team.

Last spring, the Duxbury team was said to be using anti-Semitic play calls.

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