A Muslim University of Michigan student who said a man threatened to light her on fire after President-elect Donald Trump’s victory was lying about the whole thing, police said Wednesday.
The student grabbed national headlines in the days after Trump’s election victory when she claimed she was stalked by an intoxicated 20-something man with bad body odor and an unkempt appearance. The man, she said, forced her take off her hijab and threatened to set her on fire with a lighter if she did not.
Despite the lack of evidence for the woman’s claims, they were immediately treated as true by various media outlets, as well as by the university itself, which immediately condemned the incident as a “hateful attack.” The incident was also seized upon by the Center for American-Islamic Relations, which tried to explicitly tie the supposed attack to Trump’s election as president.
Now, more than a month later, Ann Arbor police say the whole attack was a sham. Police Lt. Matthew Lige announced that officers reviewed many hours of surveillance footage from the area where the supposed attack occurred. Not only were they unable to find any evidence of the attack, they were also unable to find any evidence the student was in the area at the time. The attack also had no eyewitnesses.
Despite the collapse of the woman’s story, police are still refusing to identify her. Because the crime she reported was a felony, police say she may be charged with a felony herself for false reporting.
The Michigan student’s story is just the latest high-profile “hate crime” to fall apart under scrutiny. Other bogus hate crimes have been exposed in Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, California, and elsewhere.