According to Brazil police, the alleged robbery at gunpoint of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and his three teammates in Rio de Janeiro was a "fabrication" to cover up an altercation in a gas station.
"Unfortunately, the swimmers told one lie after another," an anonymous Brazilian police official told the New York Times on Thursday. "We've been able to determine that there was no armed assault."
Police in Brazil recommended that Lochte and his teammate James Feigen face charges for falsely reporting a crime, according to ABC News.
The confrontation, which resulted in a damaged bathroom door, was confirmed as a fabrication by Lochte's teammates. Despite this, Rio Olympics spokesman Mario Andrada thinks the whole incident should be swept under the rug.
"I understand this issue is under investigation," Andrada said Thursday, according to USA Today. "Let's give these kids a break. They made a mistake. It's part of life. Life goes on."
One tweet exchange exposes the hypocrisy in how society responds to these incidents, depending on the race of those involved.
The Twitter exchange, which takes a look at how people use the word "thug,"
indicates more broadly how society views crime through a racial lens.
Lochte, who is a 32-year-old white male who participated in a scuffle, destroyed property and lied about being robbed, is being described as a "kid." Black teenagers aren't always afforded that liberty throughout wider society, as many took to Twitter to point out.
While the backlash has resulted in hilarious memes, it isn't clear what the punishment for Lochte and his crew will be.
"The truth is that this crime in Brazil is not that serious," Judge Marcello Rubioli, who is directly involved with the case, told the New York Times. "It results in very little punishment. If they are found guilty, they would just have to make a payment to an NGO that does humanitarian work. It's not a serious crime."
Aug. 18, 2016, 8:57 p.m.: This post has been updated.