MANHATTAN, Kan. — A black Kansas man has admitted he put racist graffiti on his own car as a Halloween prank that got out of hand, police said Monday.

Photographs posted on social media Wednesday showed the car covered with racial slurs against blacks and messages that included “Go Home,” ‘’Date your own kind,” and “Die.”

The vehicle, covered in graffiti scrawled with washable paint, was parked Wednesday at an apartment complex near Kansas State University and the incident fueled racial tensions at the university and in the community.

[O]n Monday the Riley County Police Department issued a news release saying the 21-year-old owner of the vehicle, Dauntarius Williams, had told investigators that he was responsible for the graffiti.

The fake hate crime, however, had served its apparent purpose — of stoking the narrative that America is racist:

An emergency meeting of the Black Student Union called that evening drew concerned administrators and community leaders as well as students. Kansas State held a Facebook Live event the next day with worried parents. The university stepped up patrols on campus. The FBI opened a civil rights investigation into a possible hate crime.

Further, local authorities announced they would not prosecute the perpetrator:

Authorities concluded that charging him for filing a false report would “not be in the best interests of the citizens” of Manhattan.

Even the possibility of a hate crime has a big impact on the fabric of daily lives, and “we want to acknowledge that people felt anger and pain as a result of pictures and words that they saw,” Kansas State University spokesman Jeff Morris said Monday in a phone interview. “Those are very real responses.”