- Just before the 2016 election, the 111-year-old Hopewell Baptist Church was attacked with fire and graffiti that said, “Vote Trump.” “The political message of the vandalism is obviously an attempt to sway public opinion regarding the upcoming election,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). Turns out the arsonist was Andrew McClinton, 48, an African-American member of the church.
- “Heil Trump” and ”F-g Church” were spray-painted on St. David’s Episcopal Church in Indiana after the election. It was the gay organ player who did it. “Over the course of that week, I was fearful, scared and alone, too, in my fear,” George Nathaniel “Nathan” Stang, 26, explained to the IndyStar. “I guess one of the driving factors behind me committing the act was that I wanted other people to be scared with me.”
- Yasmin Seweid, 18, told police that three Donald Trump supporters harassed her and tried to steal her hijab on a No. 6 train in New York City. But the Dec. 1, 2016, alleged hate crime fell apart two weeks later when Seweid admitted she made the whole thing up because she’d been out late drinking with friends and was afraid her strict Muslim Egyptian father would be angry.
- Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti was vandalized for months by graffiti that said, “leave n—-s” and “KKK.” A former student, African-American Eddie Curlin, 29, was eventually caught. “It was totally self-serving,” said Robert Heighes, the university’s chief of police. “It was not driven by politics. It was not driven by race.”
The List of Bogus 'Hate Crimes' in Trump era is Long
In the wake of the arrest of actor Jussie Smollett, who was charged with staging his own racist and homophobic attack, here are just some of the other crimes that have been given prominent play by the media since the 2016 election — often accompanied by politicians decrying, “This is America today” — that turned out to be frauds: