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The FBI says Bubba Wallace is not guilty of hate crime

Bubba Wallace: NASCAR says racing driver found a noise in garage stall
Niki J. Layton
Written by Niki J. Layton

Referring to the FBI report, Nascar described the object as “a garage door pull rope made of noise.”

“The FBI was informed that Bubba Wallace was assigned to a noisy garage number 4 last week,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday. “Investigations have also uncovered evidence, including an authenticated video by NASCAR, that the noise in the garage number 4 was in that garage in October 2019. Although the noise is now known to be in garage number 4 in 2019, no one was able to confirm that Mr Wallace was assigned to garage number 4 last week.”

Wallace did not respond publicly to the FBI’s findings as of Tuesday night. NASCAR says he has never seen noise.

NASCAR issued a statement regarding the FBI’s decision, saying, “We appreciate the FBI’s quick and comprehensive investigation and are grateful to know that this is not a deliberate, racist act against Bubba.”

“We are committed to our commitment to providing a welcoming and comprehensive environment for all those who love racing,” says Nascar.

Richard Petty Motorsports, which owns the No. 43 car that Wallace is driving, issued a statement saying one of its employees “found a rope that sounded like a noise in a garage stall.”

Petty employees followed the protocol and notified NASCAR, according to a statement.

“No member of Richard Petty Motorsports, or Wallace, has anything to do with the rope,” the statement said.

Also on Tuesday, the Wood Brothers Racing Team said via Twitter that a member of their team recalled seeing a rope hanging in the garage stall at the end of 2019. That information was transmitted to the appropriate authorities as part of NASCAR’s investigation. Said the brothers.

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The noise found Sunday afternoon at Wallace’s garage stall in Talladega, America, and in particular in the wake of the assassination of Nascar George Floyd by the police, resolves America’s systemic racism more simply.

Wallace, the only black driver on NASCAR’s top circuit, protested against the Black Lives Matter movement and racism and police brutality.

In a teleconference Tuesday, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the FBI’s search was “the best outcome we can expect.”

“(The) No. 43 team has nothing to do with this,” Phelps said. Wallace drives the No. 43 car.

“The evidence in the garage is very clear that the noise in that garage was in the past,” Phelps continued. “We were at the last race there in October, that was the noise, and it was – it was a fact that it was not found until a member of the 43 team came. Brought to the attention of the chief, he approached NASCAR series director Jay Fabian, and we began the investigation.

“To be clear, we will do it again. In the evidence we have, it is clear that we need to look into it.”

Phelps did not take questions from the media on the call.

A NASCAR spokeswoman has called for a federal investigation to be completed, but the NASCAR investigation is ongoing.

Wallace wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt before an incident, re-painted his car with the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag, the company agreed on June 10.

Wallace tweeted on Sunday that “vile action” has plagued him and serves as a painful reminder of how far we as a society should go and how much we must persevere in the fight against racism. “

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“It doesn’t break me, I don’t give up, I don’t back down. I stand proud for what I believe in,” Wallace said.

On Monday, NASCAR drivers, Pitt crew and others walked with Wallace and showed the No. 43 car in support of the race.

CNN’s Dianne Gallagher and Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

About the author

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton is a journalist who writes on politics, environment and human rights in South Asia.

For 15 years, she has written for several publications and websites including TIME, Harper's, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, The Hindu, Scroll.in, Outlook, The Wire, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Economic Times, Tehelka, and news channel CNN-IBN. She is an India correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore.

Some of the awards she has received are the Red Cross Award for reporting on conflict, Mumbai press award for environmental reporting, and ILO award for writing on labour. Niki has a Masters in political journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York

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