No charges in incident where black doll left in shower at EMU

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Best Hall at Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti — The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is not pursuing charges against a woman who left a black doll hanging from a shower rod in an Eastern Michigan University dormitory, officials said.

The incident happened earlier this month at Best Hall, a dorm for first-year students at the university.

MoreOfficials investigate black doll left in EMU shower

University police and the school's Office of Wellness and Community Standards launched investigations into the incident. 

Police submitted their findings and a warrant request for a charge of ethnic intimidation to the county prosecutor's office. The office this week told police the prosecutor has decided to decline to authorize the charge after reviewing the case.

The prosecutor's office said a woman who hung the doll is African-American. She also claimed she hung the doll as a prank.

"The only reasonable interpretation of (the woman's) conduct is that she intended to harass because of his race," the prosecutor's office. "However, that conduct alone,
does not constitute a violation of the Ethnic Intimidation statute." 

School officials said the decision doesn't change the university's view of the incident.

"The university remains deeply committed to the overarching principles of attacking both the historical legacies, and the current realities, of racism and hate in all of their forms," university officials said in a statement. "This is a nationwide struggle. We are not alone, we are not immune from it, and we will not shy away from it."

It also said that university officials will continue to provide updates on initiatives that are underway and planned to support minorities in its community and continue to educate the campus about these issues.

The doll was found in the dormitory shower on Feb. 10. Police learned a guest of one of the suitemates hung it in the bathroom. She later told investigators it was a prank and did not have malicious or racist intentions, officials said.
Twitter: @CharlesERamirez