go to content

We Reviewed 28 Of The Alleged Hateful Incidents After Trump’s Win. Here’s What We Found.

The vast majority of incidents check out, though two hoaxes raised public doubts.

Posted on

In the days after Donald Trump won the US election, advocacy groups and media outlets, including BuzzFeed News, tracked racist and anti-Muslim incidents amid warnings of a rising tide of racial violence across the country.

We had reason to expect them: Trump had just been elected after stomping on norms about public speech on race and religion, threatening to ban Muslims from the US, and calling Mexican immigrants "rapists."

But the story of 2016 is in part the story of people believing what they expect to be true, regardless of the evidence. And there has not been any official data to suggest that hate crimes have surged nationally since the election. ProPublica described the data collection of hate crimes since the election as "deeply flawed." The Southern Poverty Law Center — which published a report titled Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election — noted that "it was not possible to confirm the veracity" of all the 867 "hate incidents" it documented, which were based off submissions to its website and media accounts. Two of the highest-profile incidents were exposed as fabrications: a Muslim woman in New York who claimed she was attacked on the subway, and a student at the University of Michigan who said a man threatened to set her on fire if she did not remove her hijab.

Conservative and right-wing media outlets seized on a post-Trump "hate hoax epidemic" and decried the mainstream media's role in spreading "hate crime hoaxes."

Since BuzzFeed News was among the outlets cataloging alleged hate crimes after the election — we reported on 28 alleged incidents between Nov. 10 to Nov. 15 — we thought it would be useful to review this nonscientific sample of high-profile reports.

We revisited those stories over the last two weeks and found that most occurred as they were reported — disturbing incidents with an explicitly racial, religious, or political edge — though some also clearly involved a haze of confusion and disputes over motive.

* Eleven cases are publicly documented — photographs of graffiti, for instance, or a witness aside from the alleged victim — but unsolved. In eight of those, authorities are still investigating.

* In 11 cases, a person was identified, charged, disciplined, apologized, resigned, or faced some other consequence — though in eight of those, their motives remain in dispute.

* Three of the remaining cases rely on a claim from a single source, without any clear resolution or specific reason to doubt the claim.

* Two were revealed as hoaxes. And in a third case, police said that part of the alleged victim's story didn't check out, and she later told authorities she no longer wanted to pursue the case.

In all, 19 of the incidents referenced Trump or the election.

Some of the incidents had an evident racial or anti-Muslim bias, though in many cases the perpetrators were not charged with hate crimes. (States have different statutes and in some the bar to prosecute an incident as a hate crime is high.)

Other incidents happened as described — and were reasonably initially perceived as political — but the stories are a bit more complicated. A Southern Illinois University student who appeared in front of a Confederate flag in what appeared to be blackface later said it was a cosmetic mask, and the university said "we sometimes find that reports of incidents made via social media and elsewhere are not fully supported by the facts." The man arrested for scrawling "Black Bitch" on a Philadelphia woman's car is black.

Meanwhile the hoaxes, which were at the center of the conversation in late December, didn't surprise academics and journalists who study extremism and hate crimes.

"People will do things when there's a lot of attention paid to it, and hate crimes aren't any different. What I find interesting is how that is being politicized now," Brian Levin, a criminology professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told BuzzFeed News. Hate crimes, he said, spike after a catalytic event, and in that "cycle of publicity and retaliatory violence" there will be false reports.

As our catalog shows, there's little evidence of a wave of hoaxes. There has also not been the wave of violent assaults that some anticipated. (The FBI did disrupt one murderous terror plot just before the election, in which Kansas militia members sought to bomb Somali refugees.)

"Unfortunately, the relatively small handful of made-up events threaten to undermine belief in the far many more verified reports of hate and intolerance," Jere Hester, director of news at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, told BuzzFeed News. Hester and J-School Interactive Program Director Sandeep Junnarkar spearheaded the development of CUNY's Hate Index — a site that chronicles hate crimes and other acts of intolerance since Trump's win. "The small number of people who concoct incidents stand to gain a disproportionate amount of attention at the expense of the many more real victims," he said.

Both experts said that hoaxes further victimize genuine victims of hate and induce mistrust of the media.

And while some conservatives tied the hoaxes into the debate over "fake news" — media concoctions built from scratch to go viral on Facebook — there is no evidence journalists reporting the false stories believed they were false. Rather, the hoaxes reveal a longstanding blind spot in crime reporting: It has long been driven — certainly in initial reports — by the legal process, beginning with a police report and an investigation.

1. A man allegedly punched a woman in the face at a restaurant in New York after she expressed disappointment over Trump’s victory.

Facebook: BarTabacNY

Original report: A man having dinner with a woman at Bar Tabac, in Brooklyn, on Nov. 12 allegedly got into an argument with a woman at the table next to him who was disappointed over Trump’s win, the restaurant manager, Jonas Leon, told media outlets. The man allegedly punched the woman in the face in front of children and left, Leon said. The man was not identified and no arrests were made at the time.

Current status: There is an ongoing NYPD investigation into the incident, police told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27. Leon told BuzzFeed news on Jan. 2 that he was called to the precinct to see pictures of possible suspects, but said that police had not found the right person. “They have nothing,” he said.

2. An Ohio State University student was arrested and charged with assault after tackling an anti-Trump protester during a demonstration on campus.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Original report: A student, identified as 24-year-old Shane Michael Stanton, tackled anti-Trump protester Timothy Adams while he was delivering a speech on campus on Nov. 14. A video published by the Lantern showed Stanton shouting, “You idiot” before leaping at Adams from behind.

Adams later said he did not believe the attack was politically motivated and sought to have the charges dropped. A friend of Stanton’s wrote on Facebook that he was a Hillary Clinton supporter, and his actions may have been related to a disability. His mother told the Columbus Dispatch that he has Asperger's syndrome. Stanton was reportedly issued an indefinite suspension from OSU following his arrest.

Current Status: The charges against Stanton have not been dropped and the case is set for pretrial hearing on Feb. 1, Zachary Gwin, assistant city prosecutor at the Columbus City Attorney's Office, told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 28. Gwin said they were “in the process of plea negotiations.”

Lara N. Baker-Morrish, chief prosecutor at the Columbus City Attorney’s office, told BuzzFeed News that they had reached out to Adams to “advise him as to the status of the case as well as to discuss the options for case resolution.” She said the decision whether or not to charge Stanton rested with the Ohio State University police who filed the charges, but added that her office would ultimately make the decision whether to resolve the matter or proceed to trial.

Adams told BuzzFeed News that the case was still “going through the court process.” He added, “Right now I'd just like to put the whole situation behind me and not discuss it further.”

An OSU spokesperson did not say if Stanton was still suspended, citing confidentiality of student conduct proceedings.

3. Threatening “vigilante” flyers calling for the torture of “university leaders spouting off all this diversity garbage” were posted in bathrooms across Texas State University.

facebook.com

Original report: The flyers, glued to bathrooms and mirrors in buildings across the campus, read: “Now that our man TRUMP is elected and republicans own both the senate and the house - - time to organize tar and feather VIGILANTE SQUADS and go arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off all this Diversity Garbage.”

Other flyers criticized the concept of diversity and its proponents. One flyer said, “NO OTHER RACE (BUT WHITES) HAS BENT OVER BACKWARDS to assure that all non-whites receive a ‘fair shake’ in being part of American life, even to the detriment and social well-being of ‘our own kinds’ (whites).” The flyer said “multiculturalism” and “diversity” are “code-words for white genocide.”

Texas State University Police were investigating the incident, President Denise M. Trauth said in a November statement, adding, “Actions such as pasting flyers to bathroom mirrors amounts to criminal activity, and our university police are investigating these incidents.”

Current Status: No arrests have been made but it remains an active investigation, a spokesperson for Texas State University told BuzzFeed News on Jan. 2. Campus police referred the matter to university officials.

In December, several flyers “encouraging readers to report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities were found and removed from different campus locations today,” Trauth said in a December message. “The university, following current law, does not and will not report undocumented immigrants to authorities.” These flyers were not the subject of an investigation, the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

4. Racial slurs and threats, including the n-word, “Go back to Africa,” and “Whites only,” along with pro-Trump slogans were found scrawled in a high school bathroom in Minnesota on Nov. 9.

Original report: Local police and Maple Grove Senior High School launched investigations after graffiti, including #FuckAllPorchMonkeys, #WhitesOnly, Trump Train, #GoBackToAfrica and “Make America Great Again,” were found in the boys’ bathroom on Nov. 9.

Current status: The student responsible for writing the graffiti was identified and received “appropriate disciplinary action, according to school board policy,” said a Nov. 21 letter from Osseo School District Superintendent Kate Maguire. The case is still an open active investigation for the Maple Grove Police Department, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

The student’s attorney, Andrea L. Jepsen, later said that the school was using the “sensitive and vulnerable” student as a scapegoat.

“The district chose a sensitive and vulnerable young person who was among the students who entered the restroom on November 9, and scapegoated him,” Jepsen said in a statement provided to media outlets. “The district violated [the student’s] rights under the law, and inflicted terrible emotional damage on him, while missing the opportunity to find the real culprit. We believe that the district did so because it was very difficult to isolate the actual wrongdoer with any certainty, and bringing this matter to what the district believed would be a quick end was its highest priority.”

5. Mehreen Kasana, an editor in New York City who was wearing a scarf around her head the day after the election, said that a man told her, “Your time’s up, girlie.”

Twitter: @mehreenkasana

Original report: Kasana told BuzzFeed News that she was wearing a scarf around her head because of the cold on Nov. 9, when a white man in his mid-thirties with a briefcase and newspaper at the Church Avenue subway station looked at her and said, “Your time’s up, girlie.” Kasana said no one at the station did anything. “I almost always fight back but I think that moment was so replete with defeat and misery that, out of the sheer need to protect myself, I remained silent,” she said. “The last thing I needed was to get pushed on the tracks.”

Current status: Kasana told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22 that she never reported the incident to the MTA or NYPD. “Prior to the election, similar things have happened and reports to the MTA didn't equally materialize into any action or considerable safety,” she said.

Kasana also said that since she was not accompanied by anyone at the station, there were no witnesses who could support her account. She said she did not call or text any family member or friend after the alleged incident. “In retrospect, my instant response to the event was to shield myself and leave the scene before he sprung into more action,” Kasana said. BuzzFeed News could not independently verify her account.

6. Middle schoolers in Michigan chanted “Build the wall” in their lunchroom.

Middle school students in Royal Oak, Michigan chanting "Build The Wall!"

Original report: A group of middle schoolers in Royal Oak, Michigan, chanted “build the wall” inside their cafeteria on Nov. 9. “Because of the strong emotions and intensity of rhetoric that the posting of this incident to social media has elicited, we have had parents express concern regarding student safety,” Superintendent of Schools Shawn Lewis-Lakin said in a statement on Nov. 10.

Current status: Lewis-Lakin issued a statement on Nov. 17 saying district officials had investigated the incident as per their harassment and bullying policies and “addressed the situation directly with the students involved.”

“Remorse has been expressed,” Lewis-Lakin said without providing detail on whether the school had taken action against the students involved. “I personally have met with students and parents at the center of the incident,” he said. “On behalf of our district, I am sorry for this incident.”

In a separate incident, the school said it removed another student who admitted to placing a noose inside a middle school bathroom on Nov. 18, pending an investigation by the Royal Oak police. Police officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the status of that investigation.

7. A “Make America White Again” sign with a swastika was graffitied on a softball dugout wall in a park in Wellsville, New York, on Nov. 9.

Twitter: @brianqwdr

Original report: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it an alleged hate crime, and announced a joint investigation by the New York State Police and State Division of Human Rights. “New York has zero tolerance for bigotry, fear and hatred, and those who seek to undermine the core values this state and nation were founded upon,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I have ordered a full investigation into this deplorable act.”

Current Status: No arrests have been made, and it remains an open investigation, a spokesperson for the New York State Police told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22. Wellsville Police Chief Timothy J. O’Grady also told BuzzFeed News that there were no new developments in the case and no suspect had been identified. “The case remains open and any leads received are being investigated accordingly.”

8. Photos of a black baby doll that appeared to have been hung in an elevator in Canisius College in New York surfaced on social media.

Twitter: @Baby_Jay1221

Original report: In two separate incidents on Nov. 8., the doll was first placed in an elevator as a prank to startle people and then hung from a curtain rod in a residence hall room, according to a public safety report issued by Canisius College.

Contrary to social media reports, the doll was not hung from the elevator, but the elevator prank set off a chain of events “on a night when the results of the presidential election had many students feeling distressed and vulnerable,” Canisius President John Hurley said in a detailed message describing the incidents. He said that after the doll was hung in the residence hall, students took photos of it and created memes referring to “Trump fans,” which were posted to social media.

The students involved in the residence hall incident were suspended pending the outcome of disciplinary cases against them, the consequences of which could include dismissal from the college, Hurley said at the time.

Current status: Two students, who were identified as the “primary participants” involved in hanging the doll in the residence hall room, “have left the college,” Hurley said in a Dec. 12 letter provided to BuzzFeed News.

Others students identified during the investigation “received sanctions appropriate to their levels of involvement in the incidents,” Hurley said.

A former federal prosecutor hired by the college to independently review the college’s investigation concluded that the students’ conduct “did not rise to the level of a violation of federal or state hate crime laws and that we need not refer the matter to law enforcement agencies,” Hurley said.

9. A “fair-skinned male” allegedly pulled at a woman’s hijab on Nov. 9, choking her and causing her to fall, San Jose State University police said in an alert to students.

Original report: The university said the case was under investigation, though it wasn’t clear if the woman, identified as 19-year-old Esra Altun, was attacked because of her hijab. Doaa Abdelrahman, the president of the Muslim Student Association at San Jose State, told the Mercury News that she knew the victim and believed the attack was related to Trump’s campaign. University police reportedly told Altun that they could not treat it as a hate crime, Mercury News reported.

Current status: Patricia Harris, a spokesperson for SJSU, told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 29 that there were no arrests, no new leads, or any other developments in the case. “My understanding is there is no surveillance video of the incident, and the suspect approached Esra from behind, so she did not have the opportunity to see him face-to-face,” Harris said. “Nonetheless, we continue to press our community to report any leads.”

Abdelrahman told BuzzFeed News that police did not “count it as a hate crime since he didn’t ‘say’ anything,” adding, “I think pulling off someone's scarf is saying it, actions speak louder than words.”

10. “Trump” was scrawled on the door of a Muslim prayer room at New York University on Nov. 9.

Facebook: NewYorkUniversityMuslimStudentsAssociation

Original report: On Nov. 9, a Muslim student making his way to the prayer room found “Trump” scribbled across the front of prayer space door, Afraz Khan, the president of the Muslim Students Association at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, told BuzzFeed News. The incident was reported to university officials, who Khan said were doing a “wonderful job in supporting us.”


Current status:
There is an ongoing investigation into the incident, the NYPD told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27. An NYU spokesperson said they had called the NYPD at the time of discovery and referred all questions to them. Khan told BuzzFeed News that the NYPD had not reached out to the Muslim Students Association.

11. “Fuck your safe space,” “Build wall,” and “Trump” were scrawled in chalk at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Nov. 8.

Twitter: @TheVermilion

Original report: Other graffiti scrawled on campus after Trump’s win included “Democrats can kiss Trump’s ass.” Campus maintenance workers washed away some of the reported graffiti, while campus police were investigating several more reports of pro-Trump graffiti across the campus, the Advertiser reported.

Current status: The university told BuzzFeed News that a report was filed with university police regarding the vandalism on campus. A spokesman for campus police told us on Jan. 2 that they had not identified any suspect so far, as there were no witnesses and no camera footage from the areas where the graffiti was written. He said that there were “no solid leads.” It remains an active case, he said.

12. “Blacks lives don’t matter and neither does your votes,” was spray-painted across a wall in Durham, North Carolina, on Nov. 9.

Twitter: @DerrickQLewis

Original report: The wall was part of JC’s Kitchen, a soul food restaurant in downtown Durham. Community members gathered and cleaned up the message, WNCN reported.

Current status: A spokesperson for Durham Police Department told BuzzFeed News that no one had reported the graffiti to them. A GoFundMe campaign to transform the wall “into a beautiful work of art” raised more than $7,000 as of Jan. 4.

13. After a photo that appeared to show two students wearing blackface masks in front of a Confederate flag went viral, Southern Illinois University issued a statement saying it was aware of offensive social media posts and was reviewing the incidents.

Original report: A viral social media post showing two students wearing blackface and standing in front of a Confederate flag prompted the university to review the incident. One of the students in the photo later wrote on Facebook that the picture had been taken out of context. She said she had been wearing a “boscia face mask” in front of a Confederate flag she had ripped because she does not support it.

Current status: Rae Goldsmith, a spokesperson for the university, told BuzzFeed News that they had “fulfilled the chancellor’s commitment to review reports of offensive behavior and comments, recognizing that some statements may be protected as free speech.” While she did not elaborate on specific incidents or disciplinary actions, citing privacy restrictions, she did say that “we sometimes find that reports of incidents made via social media and elsewhere are not fully supported by the facts.”

14. A Muslim student at San Diego State University (SDSU) was attacked and robbed by two men “who made comments about President-elect Trump and the Muslim community” on Nov. 9, the SDSU police said in a safety alert.

Original report: According to a safety alert issued by campus police, a white male and a Hispanic male confronted the student in a stairwell in what police described as a “hate crime, robbery, and vehicle theft.”

The two men “made comments about President-elect Trump and the Muslim community, confronted her and grabbed her purse and backpack,” police said in the alert. They also took her car keys and stole her vehicle, the alert said.

“Comments made to the student indicate she was targeted because of her Muslim faith, including her wearing of a traditional garment and hijab,” SDSU police said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News.

Current status: The Muslim student told police on Dec. 20 that she no longer wanted to pursue the matter criminally, Greg Knoll, a spokesperson for SDSU police, told BuzzFeed News. He said she did not give a reason for her decision.

Knoll said that the initial report of her car being stolen was unfounded as she “forgot where she parked her vehicle.” He said that only her car keys were still reported missing.

Knoll said that the police, with the help of the FBI and the District Attorney, worked on the case for six weeks, “looking at surveillance video, re-contacting the victim on several occasions and attempting to verify statements related to the entire case.”

“The victim made the decision to no longer pursue the matter and with no other leads we suspended the case,” Knoll said. He said they would consider reopening the case if they found new leads.

15. Two men in a pickup truck with a Trump flag drove to Wellesley College, a women’s liberal arts school in Massachusetts and Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, stopped in front of a house for students of African descent, and “antagonized” students and screamed “Trump” and “Make America Great Again” on Nov. 9, according to accounts from students and college officials.

Original report: Wellesley police confirmed the incident and said the two “disruptive individuals” were asked to leave the property. The two men, who were students at Babson College, were expelled from their fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Babson College was investigating both men’s actions, which the college president described as “highly offensive, incredibly insensitive, and simply not acceptable.”

Additional reports: TThe men were later identified as Edward Tomasso and Parker Rand-Ricciardi. Wellesley College Police investigated additional allegations on social media that the men deliberately parked in front of Harambee House and used racial and homophobic slurs, and that one of them spit at a Wellesley College student, according to a Babson College report of the investigation’s findings provided to BuzzFeed News. In a Nov. 14 Facebook post, Rand-Ricciardi apologized for his “insensitive celebration of the Trump victory” but denied all other allegations, including spitting at a student and using racial epithets.

Current status: On Dec. 19, Babson College cleared both students of the two charges of disorderly conduct and harassment that were levied against them, both men’s lawyers confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Babson College said that it was “uncontested” that the two men drove in a pickup truck with a Trump flag and yelled “Trump 2016” and “Make America Great Again” out of the windows, according to Babson’s investigative summary of the findings that were issued to both men’s lawyers before the board’s final decision. A copy of this was provided to BuzzFeed News.

However, the findings indicated that the other allegations, including the spitting, using racial and homophobic slurs, and targeting Harambee House, were “contested.”

Brad Bailey, Tomasso’s lawyer, said in a statement: “We are very pleased with the Honor Board’s decision of finding him not responsible for any of the student conduct violations at Babson College and moreover after a thorough and complete investigation, for determining that none of the original allegations were true, specifically the findings that he did not spit at anyone, he did not make any racial or homophobic comments towards anyone, he did not make any derogatory statements towards anyone, and all of those allegations had no basis in fact.”

“You can’t repair the reputational damage, and frankly the emotional damage that is done when you have labeled somebody a harasser,” Rand-Ricciardi’s lawyer, Jeffrey Robbins, told BuzzFeed News. He said it was “really a shame” that neither Babson College nor Wellesley College has issued a statement of apology or regret to the two men.

“People were very happy to blacken these kids’ reputations without even knowing what the facts were,” Robbins said.

A spokesperson for Babson College told BuzzFeed News, “As a matter of policy, and in accordance with federal law, Babson College does not comment on specific student conduct matters.”

16. A Facebook post on Nov. 9 appeared to show a Trump supporter in a car that had Trump flags and anti-Muslim stickers on it, including one that read “All Muslims are terrorists, deport them all.”

Facebook

Original report: A Facebook user posted a video showing a truck in Brooksville, Florida, with a Confederate flag on the front bumper and stickers saying, “Kill all Muslims” and “All Muslims are child molesters.” The user later deleted the Facebook post.

Current status: Joe Gavish, the man who posted and then deleted the video, told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 29: “I just got a letter in the mail threatening my children and family over that incident. I'd rather not bring any more attention to the matter.”

The Brooksville Police Department told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22 that it was not aware of any reports or complaints regarding the truck.

BuzzFeed News also reached out to the person who was allegedly driving the truck, but that person did not respond to a request for comment.

17. Yarden Katz, a fellow at Harvard Medical School, said that he witnessed a US postal worker telling a man who appeared to be of “Hispanic” descent, “Go back to your country. This is Trump land” at a gas station in Massachusetts on Nov. 9.

Yarden Katz

Original report: USPS said the report of alleged harassment had been “escalated to the appropriate members of USPS management.” Yarden Katz, who originally tweeted about the incident, told BuzzFeed News that “I was taken aback by how brazen it was on the part of the USPS worker to make racist comments, in broad daylight, in a supposedly progressive town. It clearly looks like part of a bigger national trend.”

Current status: A USPS representative, David Partenheimer, said to BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22 that “We have identified the person related to this incident and conducted the appropriate reviews in that area,” but did not elaborate on possible disciplinary action.

Katz told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 28 that he was the only person who witnessed the incident. He said that after he sent out his initial tweet, a USPS representative contacted him, but that they did not contact him again.

“I’ve not been pressing it, since it’s not my mission in life to get this guy fired,” Katz said to BuzzFeed News. “In my opinion, the media went too far with this story as there’s not enough coverage of the victims of this. This wasn’t directed at me.”

18. A swastika, “Sieg Heil 2016,” and the word “Trump” with the T replaced with a swastika were graffitied on the windows of an empty store in South Philly on Nov. 9.

Original report: The graffiti was spray-painted on Nov. 9, which was the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht or “Night of the Broken Glass” — an anti-Jewish pogrom in Nazi Germany in 1938. Police also investigated several other incidents of pro-Trump racist graffiti, including the words “Trump Rules” and “Black Bitch,” spray-painted across a car belonging to a 62-year-old black woman, Philly.com reported.

Current status: The “Sieg Heil 2016” and swastika spray-painted on the storefront windows are still under investigation, Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson Jeff Chrusch told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22.

Philadelphia police released a statement on Dec. 1 saying that they had arrested a 58-year-old black man, William Tucker, for spray-painting “Trump Rules” and “Black Bitch” on a black woman’s car and for vandalizing several other cars and homes in the area. He was charged with vandalism and related offenses.

19. Chris Weatherd, a former University of Tennessee linebacker, posted a video that appeared to show his car vandalized with the n-word and “Trump” on Nov. 9 in Knoxville.

Original report: Weatherd had told BuzzFeed News that he found his car on the morning of Nov. 9 vandalized with racial slurs written in washable paint. He said he did not file a police report, but that a family member of the person who did it had apologized to him. Weatherd did not wish to disclose the identity of the alleged suspect, but said it was a neighbor who was a Trump supporter.

Current status: Weatherd appears to have deleted the original video, and BuzzFeed News reached out to him multiple times for a follow-up, but he did not respond. However, he had sent several tweets defending himself against allegations that he had done it himself.

“The series of events was not staged or made up,” Weatherd wrote on social media. “Just because somebody didn’t do damage to my vehicle doesn’t mean I am the one at fault. I would never as long as I live go out of my way for attention or RT’s on twitter just for this. I have no hate for anyone who voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Gary Johnson.”

20. Rochelle Abraham posted a picture on Facebook of a car with a Confederate flag and “Kill Kill Kill” signs on it in Needham, Massachusetts, the morning after Trump’s victory.

Original report: Abraham told BuzzFeed News that she spotted the car, which had a POW flag, a US flag, and a Confederate flag on it, on the morning on Nov. 9. “I was already feeling off center with respect to what a Trump presidency would mean for myself and those that I love,” Abraham said.

While she did not see any Trump signs on the car, “just the fact that I saw this the day after the election kind of speaks for itself,” she said.

Current status: The woman driving the car was arrested, Needham Police Department spokesperson Chris Baker told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 28.

Needham police said they began looking for Kathleen Urban, 50, after receiving a call reporting a “suspicious person” driving a truck and possibly waving a “wooden stick or rifle.” She then pulled up outside the police station. “She got out of the car waving a wooden sword, and she wouldn’t put it down,” Baker said. “She did not say anything threatening but she was putting on a demonstration. She caused a bit of a scene. The radio was blaring with some type of music.” Baker confirmed that she had a Confederate flag on her car. She was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and assault with a dangerous weapon. Officials believe the woman has mental health issues, a person briefed on the matter said.

Abraham said that she did not report the signs to the police, but that someone who viewed her Facebook post took it to the Needham police.

“I was inundated with rude and racist comments on my post so eventually I had to make it private!” Abraham said to BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22.

21. A student at the New School in New York City on Nov. 12 tweeted a photo of what appears to be a swastika that was drawn on the door of her dorm where she lived with other Jewish women.

Twitter: @samlichtenstein

Original report: Samantha Lichtenstein told BuzzFeed News in an email that one of her roommates first saw the symbol when she was on her way out of the dorm in the morning. She took a photo of it and sent it to her.

“My roommate and I walked around the rest of the floor to see the symbol on 3 other doors,” Lichtenstein wrote. “We knocked on the doors to tell them of the defamation.”

The roommates notified and filed reports with campus security as well as the NYPD.

David E. Van Zandt, president of the New School, also tweeted in support of the students, calling it “abhorrent” and saying he was taking “immediate and appropriate action.”

Current status: A New York Police Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 22 that this remains an active investigation. The New School spokesperson, Josephine Parr, also confirmed on Dec. 29 that New York police are still investigating and said “we’re cooperating fully with that investigation.” BuzzFeed News reached out to Lichtenstein multiple times for further comments, but did not receive a response.

22. A woman was forced to remove her hijab on Nov. 11 by a man who threatened to set her on fire with a lighter. The incident took place at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. (FULL REPORT HERE )

Original report: A student, whom police did not identify, said a man approached her and demanded she remove her hijab or he would set her on fire with a lighter.

“She complied and left the area. The Ann Arbor Police are actively investigating,” a crime report posted on the university’s website said.

The suspect was described as a “white male, 20-30 years old, average height, athletic build, bad body odor, unkempt appearance, intoxicated with slurred speech,” according to the school’s site.

Current status: The Ann Arbor Police Department said in a statement released Dec. 21 that the student lied about the incident and that they came to that conclusion after reviewing multiple surveillance videos and interviewing witnesses.

The Ann Arbor Police Department, along with the University of Michigan police and the FBI, had investigated the incident as ethnic intimidation. A report of the findings was sent to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, which could decide to file charges against the student.

Read more.

23. Several black University of Pennsylvania students received racist and threatening messages on Nov. 11, including invites to a “daily lynching.”

Twitter: @chiderasiegbu

Original report: Several black UPenn students reported being added to a GroupMe chat that included pictures of lynchings, derogatory terms, and threats on Nov. 11. University officials said the FBI and university police were contacted, and the messages were linked back to a University of Oklahoma student more than 1,400 miles away. The student was identified, and officials said he was suspended in connection with the incident.

Current status: A University of Oklahoma spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27 that the investigation has been closed. The school said in statement sent when the investigation concluded on Nov. 15, 2016, that the student “is no longer enrolled” there.

24. A student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio reported being assaulted by three white men and called a racial slur, the university said.

Original report: ““We immediately reached out to the student,” Thomas J. Gibson, the university’s vice president for student affairs, said in a statement. “Today, she filed a report with the Bowling Green Police Department. They are investigating.”

Current status: School officials said in a statement on Nov. 18 that the incident did not occur as reported, nor did another incident filed by a different student a week later.

“Filing a false report is a serious offense. In addition to any charges by police, students may be held accountable under the student code of conduct,” the statement said.

Eleesha Long, the Bowling Green student who originally reported the assault, was charged with one count of falsification and one count of obstructing official business on Nov. 17, the Bowling Green Police Department told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27. They added that she has not been incarcerated and the case is pending.

When BuzzFeed News asked a school spokesperson on Dec. 29 if Long had been disciplined for the false report, they said, “Bowling Green State University does not release the outcomes of student disciplinary processes in accordance with the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA).”

25. A swastika was spray-painted on a sidewalk in Crown Heights, a traditionally Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn.

buzzfeed.com

Original report: The Nazi symbol was painted in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, resident Mordechai Lightstone told BuzzFeed News. Lightstone noted this was not the first time a graffiti swastika has appeared in the neighborhood.

Current status: The New York Police Department told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27 that the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Lightstone, who is a rabbi, told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27 that someone else had reported the incident to the police and that it was being investigated as a hate crime. “Footage was found of the guy doing it, but to my knowledge, no arrest or anything was made,” Lightstone said.

26. A Spanish-language sign at an Episcopal church in Silver Spring, Maryland — a heavily Latino neighborhood just outside Washington, DC — was vandalized on Saturday night with the words “TRUMP NATION” and “WHITES ONLY."

Facebook: NewYorkUniversityMuslimStudentsAssociation

Original report: Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington wrote on Facebook that she was “heartsick” at the vandalism at the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. Budde added that she “can only imagine how the people of Our Saviour, one of the most culturally diverse parishes in the diocese, feel.” Read more about it here.


Current status:
Tracey Henley, parish administrator at Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, said to BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27 that authorities have not found the person who vandalized the sign “because the banner that was vandalized was stolen by someone the next night.” The church said that they did report the theft but Montgomery County police have not gotten back to them with new information.

“We don’t consider this to be any fault or any defect of the police investigation. It was highly unlikely they would find anyone as there was no CCTV footage,” Henley added.

The Montgomery County Police Department did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

27. A Michigan police officer was suspended after flying a Confederate flag at an anti-Trump rally on Nov. 11.

Facebook: tcrecordeagle

Original report: Traverse City Officer Michael Peters was suspended with pay after he drove a truck with a Confederate flag to an anti-Trump protest and reportedly got into a confrontation with a demonstrator. Peters was off duty at the time.

Police chief Jeff O’Brien promised an internal investigation to determine if Peters broke department rules.

Current status: Officer Peters resigned from the police department on Nov. 14, Traverse police spokesperson Jim Bussell told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 27.

“The internal investigation was concluded when he resigned,” Bussell said.

Traverse City Manager Marty Colburn said that Peters apologized “for the stain he put on the city,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney told BuzzFeed News on Dec. 29 that they concluded on Nov. 22 that there was no criminal conduct alleged in the investigation report, therefore the request for review was declined. They specified that he did not specifically harass anyone with physical contact, damage property, or threaten to cause bodily harm. They also said there was no evidence that he possessed an open intoxicant in a moving vehicle and that there was insufficient evidence to show he was intoxicated.

28. A church in Indiana was discovered vandalized with slurs on Nov. 13.

Original report: St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom, Indiana was spray painted with a swastika, an anti-gay slur, and “Heil Trump.”

Rev. Kelsey Hutto, a priest at the St. David’s Episcopal Church, told BuzzFeed News that she was disappointed after the graffiti was discovered on the walls Sunday, but that they wouldn’t “let the actions of a few damper our love of Christ and the world.”

Hutto said that they needed to respond to hateful acts with love. “Anyone is welcome on the sacred ground of the church,” Hutto added.

Current status: The Brown County Sheriff’s Office told BuzzFeed News on Jan. 4 that no arrests had been made and there was an ongoing investigation.

Hutto told BuzzFeed News that the church held a community concert on Dec. 18 that “focused on healing and love.” She said she had not heard from the Sheriff’s Office. “I do know that an anonymous source offered a $2,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest,” Hutto said.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.