Additional information 'helpful' in De La Salle hazing probe, police say
Warren — Police are interviewing more De La Salle Collegiate High School employees, including assistant coaches, as part of an investigation into an alleged hazing incident involving varsity football players, officials said.
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said Friday the additional questioning by detectives comes as they work with the St. Clair Prosecutor’s Office to wrap up their investigation.
“There has been additional information that has been requested (by the prosecutor),” Dwyer said after a news conference about the arrests of 46 people in an unrelated investigation into human trafficking. “There was a number of employees … (who) were not interviewed. Some of them were, some of them weren’t and the prosecutor had additional questions for them.”
He characterized the information investigators have gotten as “helpful.”
“It’s very difficult for the school, for the community, for the parents,” the commissioner said. “We are just taking care of our responsibility as far as following up."
There are still some students who are not cooperating and who have attorneys, which he said they are “not happy with.”
Dwyer said investigators interviewed more than 70 people, including the entire football team. News of the hazing scandal rocked the Catholic high school in October. The two-time defending state champion canceled its football playoff game against Birmingham Groves after news of the alleged hazing incident surfaced.
This week, three of the school's students filed a lawsuit in Macomb County Circuit Court, alleging they were singled out for lengthy suspensions in the wake of the alleged incident.
The lawsuit contends the three students, who are persons of color, are on suspension while 10 white students allegedly being investigated as part of the hazing probe are continuing to attend school.
On Friday, Dwyer pushed back on accusations that only students of color have been targeted in the investigation.
“In no way did we shield or protect 10 individuals because of their race,” he said.
A number of threats on social media against the school also arose amid the scandal. The last one happened Tuesday and before that a similar threat happened Nov. 1.
The St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office is handling the case after Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith recused his office last month because one of his staff members could be a witness in the incident.