Police investigation into Utah women's basketball allegations finds audio contains racial slurs

A police investigation into allegations that Utah women's basketball team was the victim of “racial hate crimes” while in Idaho for the NCAA women's tournament last month, revealed evidence that “corroborates” the players' testimony, police said Thursday the order.

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department released an update confirming that detectives collected approximately 35 hours of video evidence from area businesses, noting that not all of the footage contained audio.

Utah women's basketball team

Utah players and bench staff react near the end of a second-round college basketball game against Gonzaga during the NCAA tournament in Spokane, Washington, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

But in one piece of evidence, police say a “racial slur was clearly audible.”

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“Some surveillance footage/audio corroborates what was reported by members of the basketball program and detectives are currently working to find additional evidence,” police said in a news release.

“We identified an audio recording in which the use of a racial slur was clearly audible. We are working to determine the context and conduct associated with its use to determine whether it is a violation of the law “While we are still looking into evidence, it appears that the use of racial slurs occurred on multiple occasions.”

After Utah's loss to Gonzaga in second round of the tournament On March 25, Utes coach Lynne Roberts said her team was the victim of a series of hate crimes after arriving at their Coeur d'Alene hotel.

Lynne Roberts speaks to reporters

Utah head coach Lynne Roberts speaks during a news conference after its NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga in Spokane, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

UTAH WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM SUBJECT TO 'RACIAL HATE CRIMES' AT TOURNAMENT HOTEL, COACH SAYS

“We had several instances of racial hate crimes against our program and (it was) incredibly upsetting for all of us,” Roberts told reporters. “In our world, in sports and in academia, it's shocking. There's so much diversity on a college campus and you just aren't exposed to it very often.”

The next day, the university released a statement detailing two “troubling encounters.” One incident involved players walking to dinner when a car drove by and “the occupants shouted racial epithets at them.” The second incident involved another vehicle and the occupants were “yelling racist remarks and threats” at the team as they returned to their hotel.

Lani White partying

Utah guard Lani White, coach Lynne Roberts, right, and team members celebrate during South Dakota State's game in the NCAA tournament in Spokane, March 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

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Police continue to investigate the matter. Law enforcement is asking for the public's help in identifying a silver cruiser that was monitored in the area around the time the incident occurred.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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