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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Coeur d’Alene police say they have one video related to Utah team’s racial harassment and asks for public’s help to find more

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White, along with Task Force on Human Relations co-founder Tony Stewart, answers questions during a press conference Tuesday, March 26, 2024, about the racial harassment of a group of basketball players from University of Utah women’s team during the NCAA tournament in Spokane the previous weekend.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department has one video related to the alleged racial harassment of the University of Utah women’s basketball team last week, and they are asking for more.

They will not be releasing any video they find, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, said Coeur d’Alene Police Capt. David Hagar. The department will also not specify what the video depicts.

“We don’t want that out because we want someone to talk to us based on their own recollection,” Hagar said. “We always want to go with someone’s memory.”

The Utah team was staying at the Coeur d’Alene Resort after it was selected to play in the NCAA Tournament in Spokane hosted by Gonzaga University. As team members walked from the hotel to a downtown restaurant on Thursday night, they were followed by a driver in a truck who was shouting racial slurs at them.

When they left dinner to return to their hotel, the driver and others followed them back to the hotel, revving their trucks’ engines and harassing them further, according to a police report filed by a team donor.

The alleged incident happened just days before Utah played South Dakota State on Saturday. Police were unable to speak with the team at that time, they said at a Tuesday press conference.

Utah beat South Dakota Saturday night and went on to play Gonzaga on Monday night, losing to the Spokane school by 11 points.

As of Tuesday, the police department has spoken with one Utah administrator, but the school hasn’t provided access to the team. They were not given a reason, Hagar said.

“We believe we’ve worked through that, though,” Hagar said. “We are sending someone down to Utah to work with our federal counterparts.”

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is asking the public to send them video of the area around Sherman Avenue, near Crafted Taphouse, from Thursday evening. They already have gone in to nearby businesses asking for outside surveillance footage, though few business have that available. Crafted Taphouse restaurant manager Junior Mujtaba said he only has video of the team coming into the restaurant and leaving. A nearby beer hall also does not have outdoor cameras.

University of Utah Athletics did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. In a previous statement, the school said they wanted the time for their players to heal and will continue to work with authorities in their investigation.

“Our focus will remain on the well-being of our students and staff,” the statement said.