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Prosecutor won't file charges against Grand Blanc football players on Snapchat

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Grand Blanc High School

GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - Football players at Grand Blanc High School accused of sending degrading and racist messages in a private Snapchat group will not face criminal charges.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and Grand Blanc City Police Chief Brian Lipe said the messages sent among part of the varsity football team did not meet criminal standards for Michigan's hate crime and ethnic intimidation laws.

However, they called many of the football players' messages "highly unacceptable and obnoxious."

"The ethnic intimidation statute requires 'specific intent to intimidate or harass another person.' That did not happen here," Leyton said. "Further, there must be physical contact with another person or damage to personal property or reasonable belief that contact or damage will occur. That's not the case here."

Grand Blanc Community Schools took unspecified disciplinary action against some of the players, including suspensions from games and team activities.

Grand Blanc City Police Det. Sgt. Bryan Byarski said officers learned of the ongoing series of messages on Snapchat earlier this month. He said messages included "Hitler salutes," adding "Hitler moustaches" to photos and students partially exposing themselves.

Administrators say the group chat took place "for quite some time" and neither coaches nor school officials knew it existed until recently. Not all members of the team were included in the group chat.

None of the messages included threats, according to the district's statement.

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