Officers investigating a series of racist messages sent to a Premier League footballer have released a 12-year-old boy under investigation.
The Ivory Coast international posted screenshots of the messages on Twitter with the caption: “Woke up to this today.”
The 27-year-old was sent racist imagery as well as abusive messages.
#UPDATE | The 12-year-old boy arrested in connection with racist social media messages sent to a footballer has been released under investigation while our enquiries continue.
Racism has no place in society and we're attempting to contact the footballer to obtain a statement.— West Midlands Police - #StayAlert (@WMPolice)July 13, 2020
“You better not score tomorrow you black c***,” one read.
That was followed by a second message reading: “Or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.”
The force arrested a 12-year-old boy from Solihull after examining the messages, but he has since been released under investigation.
In a statement, the force said: “The 12-year-old boy arrested in connection with racist social media messages sent to a footballer has been released under investigation while our enquiries continue.
“Racism has no place in society and we’re attempting to contact the footballer to obtain a statement.”
Palace manager Roy Hodgson earlier praised the player for going public having been the target of “cowardly and despicable” racist abuse.
He said: “These cowardly, despicable acts from people… presumably trying to get some sort of advantage for the team they support, maybe trying to put some doubts into the head of one of the opposition team’s star players.
“It’s very sad that people resort to the type of abuse that he resorted to."
After Zaha posted the messages on social media, anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out tweeted: “We are extremely disappointed that Wilf Zaha has once again been the subject of targeted racial abuse."
The Premier League also issued a statement condemning the abuse.
It read: “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the Premier League stands alongside @wilfriedzaha in opposing this, and discrimination in any form. There is #NoRoomForRacism, anywhere.
“We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.
“Through our dedicated reporting system we can take immediate action on cases like this.”