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No charges will issue in connection with the hanging of a paper noose in a public bathroom of a Panera Bread store in the City of Grosse Pointe.

On December 30, 2022, at approximately 8:26 p.m., Grosse Pointe police officers were dispatched to a Panera Bread in the 17150 block of Kercheval in Grosse Pointe regarding a noose found in the men's public bathroom. Upon their arrival, officers spoke to a male employee who discovered a paper towel noose in the bathroom and reported it to the police.

The investigation by the City of Grosse Pointe Police revealed that four juvenile male Grosse Pointe South freshman students were in the men's restroom vaping. It is alleged that one of the students was a 15-year-old who fashioned a noose from paper towel and hung it from a stall in the men's restroom.

All parties were interviewed by the police as a part of their investigation. A thorough review of the facts and evidence was conducted by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Juvenile Unit. The crime of Ethnic Intimidation requires specific intent to intimidate or harass a person/persons based upon race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. See MCL 750.147B The fashioning and leaving a paper towel noose in a public place without additional evidence of intent to threaten or intimidate persons based on the enumerated factors in the statute is lacking in this case. The warrant is being denied because there is insufficient evidence to charge a crime.

"Although this decision may upset some, we must follow the current laws on our books when making a charging decision. In this case we thoroughly evaluated the police investigation and looked at every applicable law. This office strives to charge only cases that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the criminal, legal standard and that simply cannot be met here," said Prosecutor Kym Worthy.