BAY SAINT LOUIS, Miss. (WXXV) — Police have determined no hate crime was committed during the Krewe of Nereids Parade on February 16th when a man on a parade float handed a 12-year-old black female a black doll with beads around its neck.
The parade throw sparked outrage from the girl’s family and some others in the community who say the gesture was “racially offensive” and indicated racial hatred.
The girl’s family, including her mother, Nicole Fairconeture, says the beads around the doll’s neck represented a noose, and indicated racial hatred.
Fairconeture told police the man, who authorities say is a white man from out-of-town, “That’s you.” Fairconeture also said the doll was “dressed like a slave.”
Police have not released the name of that man.
As part of the investigation, Bay St. Louis police obtained statements from the complainant, witnesses and parade participants, which were conflicting.
The Bay St. Louis Police Department initiated an investigation based on the family’s report and it was determined the assorted stuffed dolls and animals, which were distributed by the parade participants, were all hanging by Mardi Gras beads prior to being thrown.
In a press release Tuesday, Chief Gary Ponthleux Jr. said, “As a result of the investigation, the Bay St. Louis Police Department has determined no state statutes or city ordinances were violated and there was no intent of hatred. The Bay St. Louis Police Department has not received any additional complaints regarding inappropriate, indecent or racially motivated acts.”
Authorities say all parties involved have been cooperative during the investigation.
The Bay St. Louis Police Department says they have forwarded all information obtained during the investigation to the FBI.
The Krewe of Nereids Parade rolls each year through Bay St. Louis and Waveland as part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Mardi Gras annual celebrations.