Police on Wednesday said a University of Michigan student who told investigators in November that a man threatened to set her on fire if she did not remove her hijab lied about the incident.
In a statement, the Ann Arbor Police Department said they came to the conclusion after reviewing multiple surveillance videos and interviewing witnesses.
“During the course of the investigation, numerous inconsistencies in the statements provided by the alleged victim were identified,” the department said. “Following a thorough investigation, detectives have determined the incident in question did not occur.”
The student, who police did not identify, said that on Nov. 11, days after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, a man approached her and demanded she remove her hijab or he would set her on fire with a lighter.
The student complied and fled, according to a crime alert. The incident was investigated as ethnic intimidation along with the University of Michigan police and FBI.
A report of the findings is being sent to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office, which could decide to file charges against the student.
In New York, a woman was arrested for allegedly making up a story about being attacked on the subway by Trump supporters. Yasmin Seweid had told authorities three drunk white men tried to remove her hijab while shouting “Donald Trump!” on Dec. 1, but later reportedly recanted the story.
Groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations said they have noticed a spike in incidents targeting American Muslims and other groups since Trump’s win, reporting more than 100 anti-Muslim cases.
And the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups in the US, said there were almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation against minority groups in the 10 days after Nov. 8.
Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.
Contact Adolfo Flores at email@example.com.
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