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Police close investigation into alleged hate crime targeting lesbian school board member

School board spokesperson failed to disclose closure of investigation

The Evanston Police Department has closed its investigation into an alleged hate crime against a lesbian school board member.

The College Fix reported on this last week, and soon after publication, the city responded to our request for a copy of the police report.

School board vice president Elisabeth Lindsay-Ryan (above) said a vandal broke into her car and wrote “you faggot” on a Christmas card. Lindsay-Ryan claimed to know that this was an example of “white supremacy” and “homophobia” in the liberal Illinois suburb immediately north of Chicago.

The report shows that the police closed the investigation on January 20 for a lack of usable evidence. The communications director for the district did not tell The Fix about this fact, despite responding to us weeks after the closure of the investigation.

The school board also will not answer questions from The Fix on if it plans to release a statement to the community announcing the closure of the investigation — since it announced the hate crime and even called an emergency session to discuss it and other alleged incidents of targeting of school board members.

Melissa Messinger, the Evanston school district’s communications director, provided The Fix with comment in late January and early February, but primarily directed us to the board’s prior statements condemning the hate crime.

She did not respond to two emailed requests in the last week asking if she knew that the investigation had been closed when she provided us with comment. The Fix also asked if Elisabeth Lindsay-Ryan informed the board of education that police were no longer investigating the incident and if members planned to send out another statement.

Lindsay-Ryan, and the whole school board, were also asked similar questions, but none of the members have responded in the past several days. Messinger is also the spokesperson for the school board.

Police won’t explain decision

The police are not talking either.

Officer Brian Henry, who serves as a spokesperson for the department, did not respond to questions last week about how common it is for the police to close investigations for lack of evidence.

The Fix also asked why the police are not trying to track down a car that briefly parked next to Lindsay-Ryan’s car when the incident is alleged to have occurred. A nearby security video filmed the car, according to the police report.

The city did not release copy of the security video nor the Christmas card taken into evidence, in response to The Fix‘s original public record request. The Fix has filed a second public records request for the video and Christmas card and the city is supposed to respond today with an update.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.