A sailor who reported last month that he was the victim of a hate crime has now been revealed to have staged the incident himself, according to a report by the Navy Times.
Marquie Little, a 27-year-old African American in the Navy, claimed to have found his rack and personal belongings vandalized, posting pictures to Facebook of the wreckage. The “vandalism” included racial slurs.
He posted several images to Facebook, in a post that quickly went viral and caused much outrage. “I proudly serve the Navy and this is what I’m receiving in return,” he wrote. “Things are getting out of hand.” (See screenshot of post below.)
In an interview with the Times, he described his dismay and stated that this had happened before.
“It’s not my first time being called a word such as that,” the aviation boatswain’s mate airman said in a phone interview later that month. “It puzzled me as to who would do it and why they would do it.”
However, an NCIS investigation revealed that Little staged the scene himself.
But on Friday Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, said “a thorough investigation” conducted with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found inconsistencies in the sailor’s account.
“A NCIS-supported command investigation following claims of racially-motivated vandalism aboard the (carrier) has determined that the alleged victim staged the incident himself,” Hecht said in an email.
“The United States Navy does not tolerate racial discrimination of any form and the well-being of our Sailors is our top priority,” Hecht said.
Hecht declined to identify the sailor because he was not charged with a crime, but said the sailor had “received appropriate administrative actions and additional counseling and training.”
Below, a screenshot from the original Facebook post.