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'No Ill Will': Covington Student In Viral Video Releases Statement

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AP
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The Covington Catholic student who appears in a viral video that rocketed across the internet this weekend has released a statement, saying he harbors "no ill will" toward the Native American man seen in the footage and urging readers to refrain from passing judgement based on brief clips. 

In the response, which will be the "only statement made by the Sandmann family," the student writes that he is providing a factual account meant to correct "misinformation and outright lies."

According to the description by the Covington Catholic High School junior, Nick Sandmann, a group of African-American protesters at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC began directing derogatory statements at the students. 

"They called us 'racists,' 'bigots,' 'white crackers,' 'faggots,' and 'incest kids,'" the statement reports. 

The students, he says, responded with school spirit chants that were all "positive in nature," before the Native Ameircan protesters "waded into the crowd" with one coming close and locking eyes with him. 

"I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me," Sandmann writes. 

That moment, caught on camera and spread across social media, is being misinterpreted, he says. 

"I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation," the student writes. 

Sandmann goes on to say, "I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week." 

Read the full statement here