EMU students who placed black doll in dorm shower will not be prosecuted, according to prosecutors

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 2:04pm

Washtenaw County denied the request for the EMU students involved with the incident be prosecuted because it did not violate Michigan’s Ethnic Intimidation statute.

Washtenaw County denied the request for the EMU students involved with the incident be prosecuted because it did not violate Michigan’s Ethnic Intimidation statute. Buy this photo
Darby Stipe/Daily

Eastern Michigan University students involved in hanging a black doll on a shower rod on campus will not be prosecuted, MLive reported Feb. 27.

EMU police requested the students involved be prosecuted, but Washtenaw County denied the request because it did not violate Michigan’s Ethnic Intimidation statute. The statute states a person is guilty of ethnic intimidation if they maliciously intend to intimidate or harass someone because of that person's race, religion, gender or national origin by causing physical contact with the person or damaging, destroying or defacing any real or personal property of another person. It can also be applied if a person threatens to cause physical harm or destroy property through words or actions. 

A 17-page report was created by EMU policy and given to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Attorney. The report included a warrant request for a charge of Ethnic Intimidation. In the denial, Konrad Siller, first assistant prosecuting attorney, wrote that while the incident is undeniably offensive, there was no physical altercation or damaged property.

EMU’s investigation into the incident is ongoing. When a resident adviser in Best Hall found the doll inside a bathroom on Feb. 11, the incident was immediately investigated by EMU police and the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility.

According to EMU, the doll was placed by a guest of one of the suitemates where the incident took place. The guest told investigators it was done as a prank and did not have malicious or racist intentions.