A Beloit College student faces several charges after being arrested for what police say amounts to an apparent or potential hate crime hoax.
Although various media organizations indicate a surge in hate crimes since the 2016 presidential election in which Donald Trump emerged the victor, apparently some of them appear to be hoaxes, according to The Daily Caller.
Rockford, Illinois, TV station WQRF reported on the alleged hate crime that wasn’t at Beloit College, which is Wisconsin’s oldest continuously-operated college since its founding in 1846.
“Twenty-year-old Michael Kee was arrested and charged with Obstructing, Disorderly Conduct, and Criminal Damage, for allegedly spray painting an anti-Muslim threat and symbol on his door and a wall near his dorm. Police say he then reported it as a threat against his religion and ethnicity. Police say his motive was a reaction to anti-Semitic message reportedly slid under the door of a Jewish student on campus, saying Kee had ‘observed how the Beloit College community had come together after the first reported incident and wanted similar attention.'”
— PoliticsNews (@PoliticsUsaNews) February 2, 2017
According to a statement from the city of Beloit Police Department posted to the Beloit College Facebook page, Kee confessed that it was he who carried out the spray painting.
The statement, which does not detail the specific kind of offensive religious or ethnic phrases or imagery involved, also noted that false hate crime reports “only serve to delegitimize other victims of these types of egregious offenses.” Cops added that they have handed over the case file to the Rock County District Attorney.
“Kee maintained his innocence in a Facebook posting and claimed he made the confession under duress. He also said he was not read his rights prior to his arrest,” the GazetteXtra reported today.
Detectives are still investigating the previous anti-Semitic incident.
Hate crime hoaxes, when they allegedly occur, prevent law enforcement authorities from deploying resources to investigate real hate crimes, as the Beloit PD asserted.
As alluded to above, other incidents of this nature have occurred in the post-election environment. For example, an anti-Muslim, headline-making hate crime against a University of Michigan student in which a suspect threatened to set her hijab on fire was apparently made up, Ann Arbor police detectives concluded, after interviewing witnesses and poring over surveillance footage.
Also in December, authorities arrested a suspect in connection with an arson incident in which a black church in Mississippi was burned and the words “Vote Trump” were spray painted on its walls. The suspect is an African-American man.
Following an initial complaint that generated national coverage, the NYPD charged a Muslim student, who claimed she was harassed by Trump supporters on a subway, with filing a false police report.
Elsewhere, a Florida man involved in a dispute over child custody stands accused of setting his ex-girlfriend’s car on fire, as well a leaving a note with the words “KKK” and “Trump” in the woman’s mailbox. He also allegedly faked his own kidnapping.
Philadelphia police arrested a South Jersey man for allegedly spray-painting racist, pro-Trump messages on several cars on the morning after the November 8 presidential election. The suspect, who was arrested two weeks later, allegedly is the ex-boyfriend of one of the property-damage victims, the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News reported, and the victim and her daughter, who are black, identified the suspect when detectives showed them some surveillance footage. The suspect is also African-American, Breitbart News added.
A Chicago college student allegedly faked an incident in which she claimed to have received anti-gay, pro-Trump notes and emails, according to the educational institution’s president, who also indicated that the student is no longer enrolled there, the Inquisitr reported.
Separately, a Boston-area man reportedly admitted to lodging a fake hate crime complaint about being accosted by two alleged Trump supporters.
“The men used a racial slur, made a reference to lynching and warned him ‘this is Donald ‘Trump country now,’ according to the report he gave police,” the Boston Herald detailed. Malden, Massachusetts, police subsequently determined that the story was a complete fabrication.
As the Inquisitr also previously outlined, a University of Louisiana-Lafayette student acknowledged that she made up a story about being assaulted, robbed, and having her hijab torn off by two men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat. The Lafayette Police Department later announced that it was no longer investigating after the alleged victim admitted to the fabrication. According to CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV, authorities plan to charge the woman, 18, with filing a false report.
Also in the Inquisitr, a Seattle-area woman made up a claim about being sexually assaulted that she posted to Facebook because she was “distraught” about the presidential election results. The Facebook post in question also apparently suggested that cops were indifferent to the initial rape allegation. Local police investigated the rape accusation and reportedly determined that it was a hoax after detectives finally located her and conducted an interview, the Kirkland Patch and other news outlets reported.
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