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Identity of Muslim student suspected of hate-crime hoax may soon be revealed

The identity of the female University of Michigan student who told police that a white man demanded she remove her hijab or he would set her on fire with a lighter may soon be revealed.

That’s because Ann Arbor police detectives will soon forward their report to the prosecutor’s office detailing their determination that the student lied about the incident, a lieutenant with the department told The College Fix.

The report will then be reviewed by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, which will consider the evidence and may file the criminal charges requested by police, or different charges based on what the attorneys believe is best based on the evidence.

In general, when a criminal complaint is authorized by the prosecutor’s office and the offender is arraigned, officials release: The name and age of the offender; the community where the offender resides (but not the specific address); and a list of charges filed and the possible maximum penalty for each offense, an official with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office told The Fix.

At issue is a female University of Michigan student’s claim — several days after Donald Trump was elected president — that a man threatened to burn her if she didn’t remove her hijab.

At the time, at least one student called it proof of racism, Fox 2 had reported. Some students on Facebook even gave the university grief for not putting out a hate-crime alert within hours of the alleged assault, the Michigan Daily reports.

The claim prompted the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security to issue an alert, calling the incident an act of “hate and intimidation.” The division stated it considered the crime “ethnic intimidation.”

However a month later, in mid-December, Ann Arbor police in conjunction with campus police and the FBI announced that their investigation found the incident did not occur. They came to that conclusion after conducting witness interviews and reviewing multiple surveillance videos of the area in question.

“During the course of the investigation, numerous inconsistencies in the statements provided by the alleged victim were identified. Following a thorough investigation, detectives have determined the incident in question did not occur,” police stated.

Since news of the hate-crime hoax has been released, the university’s public safety division has not emailed out an alert clarifying the situation, but did update the crime alert posting on its website to note the cancellation.

MORE — Police: Threat to burn UM student wearing hijab never happened

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About the Author
Dominic Mancini -- Ashford University