GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Great Barrington Police Department has ended their investigation into the alleged racist incident at Monument Mountain Regional High School.

According to Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh, there was a “verbal altercation” between two high school students on September 26th that allegedly involved racist comments. He said the argument started after a varsity football player took a knee during the national anthem before a game.

“The altercation did not rise to a physical level, though the alleged words used were very concerning and prompted the police department to open an investigation,” said Chief Walsh.

Great Barrington Police consulted with state and federal agencies to figure out if the alleged racist comments could be considered “hate speech,” and after a review by local investigators, Chief Walsh said the speech did not “constitute a prosecutable offense.”

“Though the law did not determine this incident to be criminal in nature, the remarks and language used during this incident are reprehensible. They are not condoned by the police department or the community of Great Barrington,” Chief Walsh said.