It was just 11 days ago that the federal government, including the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, announced their findings in the case of Althea Bernstein, the Wisconsin woman who claimed she was attacked with lighter fluid and set on fire.
The DOJ said unequivocally that it could not find evidence of an attack and closed the case.
But a lack of evidence of a crime didn’t stop the NFL from honoring one of the league’s social justice heroes on its Instagram page on Thursday. At the start of the year, the NFL listed her name as one that players could put on the back of their helmet, even though the DOJ had already issued its announcement. “Say her name,” the Instagram account proclaimed.
“After a thorough investigation into the events of June 24, 2020, including extensive interviews, exhaustive review of traffic and surveillance video, and expert review of digital and forensic evidence, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of any federal criminal statute occurred,” the DOJ said in its report. “Further, after reviewing all available evidence, authorities could not establish that the attack, as alleged by the complainant, had occurred. Accordingly, the federal investigation into this incident has been closed based on the lack of evidence.”
Bernstein’s team didn’t push back when the DOJ announced its decision. In fact, they said they were done talking about the case:
“Althea Bernstein and her family appreciate the detailed investigative efforts by all involved in this case. Althea’s injuries are healing and the support of our community has been invaluable in that regard. We continue to maintain our family privacy and will not be granting interviews at this time.”
Somehow this news didn’t make it to the NFL’s Instagram team. Like they care anyway. Their minds were already made up.