Citadel says white hood photos were inappropriate but not racist

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The Citadel says it has finished its investigation into what some called racist pictures taken on campus. (WLS)

The Citadel says it has finished its investigation into what some called racist pictures taken on campus. Leaders say photos taken in the days leading up to the night in question helped them determine that the photo was in poor judgment and inappropriate, but not racially motivated.

Investigators saw a series of pictures of cadets dressed like toy soldiers, elves and nutcrackers taken in the days before the photo of cadets in KKK-esque white hoods made national headlines.

The viral photo was seen by a woman on Snapchat, who then posted it to Facebook. It circulated widely around the internet after that, and is responsible for a change in how the Citadel educates cadets.

"The investigation revealed that the cadets attempted to dress like ghosts of Christmas past," said General Rosa.

In total, 14 cadets were punished for violating campus policies.

"The punishments are on a spectrum based on their involvement not just with this incident and not just because it was in the press but because of continued violation of the rules," said Captain Eugene Paluso, commandant for the S.C. Corps of Cadets at the Citadel.

However, the response is not setting well with everyone.

"I can't imagine that somebody in that crowd didn't know what that was about and if you knew what it was about then you had ill intent," said Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III of the National Action Network.

City Councilman Henry Darby and the National Action Network say they're pleased with the Citadel's response and have withdrawn their request for Rosa's resignation. However, they're demanding a change take place: the removal of the Confederate Flag from the Citadel's chapel.

"The time has come to take the flag out the same way you took it off the dome in front of the building and in front of the monument. Let's take it from inside the holy place quote on quote the Citadel," says Rev. Rivers.

Rosa said today that the punishments range from suspensions for three of the juniors and extra duties for the freshmen. He also announced the creation of a new task force that will work on advancing diversity. He hopes that will be ready by the fall.
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