'Racist' video showing black US student forced to sit near banana peels prompts police investigation

'Racist' video showing black US student forced to sit near banana peels prompts police investigation
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A "racist" video showing a black United States high school student forced to sit inside a locker littered with banana peels while players taunt him has prompted a police investigation.

The 11-second video began circulating social media on Friday and shows the American football team from Moline High School, Illinois taunting the player.

One person, who is not shown in the footage, is heard threatening to break the player's knees if he doesn't comply and sit in the locker, the Associated Press reports.

Moline Police Department chief Darren Gault said the behaviour shown in the video is "a disturbing racist scene".

"Those involved are fellow high school football teammates. They are also individuals of both different and similar races to the victim. The students directly involved in the video are all friends," he said in a statement.

"Regardless of these facts, we all agree that this is a disgusting way to treat a fellow teammate, a fellow human and most certainly a friend."

Several police detectives conducted interviews with student athletes, coaches, and staff of Moline High School on Saturday and everyone involved in the incident has been identified.

Gault confirmed the police investigation is complete and the findings have been turned over to Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal for review.

He also said the school district will conduct a separate investigation of any school code violations or district policies.

"Regardless if the students viewed this as a joke, it is unacceptable behaviour. All subjects involved in the investigation, including parents, students, coaches and school district personnel were cooperative with the police department investigation and understood the gravity of the situation," Gault says.

"This is a teaching moment for everyone and a reminder that we can do better. We can treat people better. We can be better friends. We can be better teammates. We can be better people. We can also stand up and confront situations when they are wrong."

Moline Mayor-elect Sangeetha Rayapati, who is also the school board chair, says she is "frustrated, dismayed, and appalled" at the behaviour shown in the video.

"We must hold ourselves accountable for this incident occurring in our community and educate our children that this behaviour is unacceptable," she says.

"Because these are all of our children - those who have done egregious things and those who have had a terrible thing done to them. No one has a right to dehumanize their classmate or teammate."

Moline-Coal Valley School District officials confirmed they had launched an investigation into the video. Spokesperson Candace Sountris said they weren't aware of the video until Friday evening.

"The vile behaviour depicted in the video does not represent our core values and has no place in our learning community," Sountris said in a statement, according to local outlet Quad-City Times.

"Clearly, we have work to do. Decisive action will be taken upon the conclusion of both the law enforcement and the school district's internal investigation."