Courtside Police Officer: ‘Didn’t Hear Any Inappropriate Comments’ At BYU/Duke Volleyball Match

As we have reported here on OutKick, details continue to emerge about the allegations made by Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson. The 19-year-old sophomore alleges that a BYU fan called her a racial slur several times during their match on Friday.

OutKick has obtained a copy of the police report from that night, provided by the BYU Police. According to the report, the officer that was placed near the BYU student section — following complaints from the Duke players and staff — heard no “inappropriate comments or language.”

BYU Police Det. Sgt. Richard Laursen was summoned to stand next to the man who was alleged to have made the racial comments. That fan has since been banned for life from BYU athletic venues.

According to a police report filed by Laursen the night of the incident, the man did not make any racial remarks while he was standing near him. That included the fourth set when Richardson alleged to have heard a slur while she was serving in front of the ROC (Roar of the Cougar) student section.

Rachel Richardson alleges that a BYU fan yelled racial slurs at her, but the police report contradicts her account.
Rachel Richardson alleges that a BYU fan yelled racial slurs at her, but the police report contradicts her account.

“During the game and while I was standing on the sideline between the Duke players and the ROC section, I didn’t hear or observe any inappropriate comments or language from the ROC section,” Det. Sgt. Laursen wrote in the police report.

The man in question asked why Laursen was summoned over to the section.

“I told him I was there listening for inappropriate comments toward the Duke players and the fan told me that he hadn’t heard any inappropriate comments,” Laursen responded. “He said he told the players that they shouldn’t hit the ball into the net, but that was the only comment he made to the Duke players.”

Laursen later described the man as potentially having a developmental disability.

“He seemed to be more interested in talking to me than cheering for BYU. It was evident based on the individual’s comments, stuttered speech and mannerisms that he has special needs,” Laursen wrote.

“Based on my training and experience in Crisis Intervention Training, he may have (A)sperger syndrome or could have autism. The individual was articulate, but socially awkward. The individual kept scrolling through his phone and didn’t seem too involved in the game.”

Police report obtained by OutKick from the BYU police department that contradicts the account of Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson.
Police report obtained by OutKick from the BYU police department that contradicts the account of Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson.

Laursen also revealed that he received mixed reviews on his performance in the situation, praised by one Duke player but chided by other players and coaches.

“I was thanked by one of the Duke players. She shook my hand and said thanks for having their team’s back,” he said. Later, he wrote he “was told the Duke players and coaches were very upset with what happened during the game and that the racial comments toward the Duke players was still happening during the fourth set that that (sic) I didn’t do anything about the comments being made.”

“I told the (BYU) Athletic staff that I never heard one racial comment being made,” he added.

Despite Laursen reporting to the BYU staff that he did not hear any racially-charged language, they issued a lengthy apology denouncing the behavior that has yet been proven to have occurred.

After being made aware of a potential incident between the man and a Duke player, Laursen went to talk with him.

I approached the BYU fan and took him to the opposite side of the court where there was nobody present and talked to him about getting into the face of one of the Duke players. The individual said he thought the Duke player was a BYU player who is one of his friends. I told the individual that a complaint was made about his behavior and that he needed to avoid Duke players. He told me that he wants to be a congressman and that he doesn’t use racial terms.

BYU Police Det. Sgt. Richard Laursen wrote in a police report

Laursen also reported to have reviewed film of the game following the event to see if he could observe the behavior reported by the Duke team and Rachel Richardson.

“There was nothing seen on the game film that led me to believe (he) was the person who was making comments to the player who complained about being called the ‘N’ word,” Laursen wrote.

“During the second set, when the comment was reported to having been made, (he) was not present when the player was serving,” Laursen added. “On her second time serving during the set, (he) was on his phone and didn’t appear to be paying attention to the game.”

Despite Laursen’s report that directly contradicted Duke’s account, BYU still banned the fan from all athletic venues.

BYU has not responded to any of OutKick’s requests for comment.

We also reached out to Duke following the release of Laursen’s police report, but have yet to receive a response.

Stay with OutKick for updates on this developing story.

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

8 Comments

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  1. Either the cop is covering for the kid or the player is totally lying/embellishing what really happened. Given the cop has nothing to gain in this, it seems highly unlikely he’s covering for the kid. If cop was standing there for a solid duration he would be able to tell. At this point, either ole girl is totally lying, embellishing the truth of the shit-talking from the crowd, or it was an honest mistake thinking she heard N-bombs. But given her claim it happened all game, it’s hard to believe she would mishear something supposedly repeated over and over.

    That leaves us with lying or embellishment. Then, you gotta ask, if she is lying what is the motive? What would the player gain from this? Notoriety, empathy, support, attention, maybe NIL? Then you have to factor in she has family with political pull. What do they gain from it? Attention, support, and the ability to push an activist narrative for political gain.

    This will get mainstream attention, confirm peoples’ preconceived world views and most will move on believing what is probably a total lie. When all the facts come out and the story is set straight only a tiny fraction of those who saw the original headline will see the correction, leading most to double down on “America sucks!!”. And at the end of the day, a kid on the spectrum is painted as a racist, isn’t allowed back at BYU, and loses out on future career prospects.

  2. Guilty until proven innocent in Marxist Democrat America when it comes to racism charges leveled by blacks. If the individual is somehow developmentally challenged he should level charges against the Duke team for discrimination against the handicapped. If innocent, where does this person go to get his reputation back? This smelled from the beginning.

  3. The vast majority of the 13% do nothing to make this country better. They tear down because they are incapable of meaningful contributions. All national entities are dumbing down requirements so they can participate. Downfall of America.

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