In the latest case of a faked hate crime, a 20-year-old man has admitted he made it up when he told Malden cops he was harassed by two men proclaiming it’s “Trump country now.”
The man, whose name police have not released, had filed a complaint saying when he got off an MBTA bus near Broadway Square in Malden at 10 p.m. Tuesday, at least two white men approached him.
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. He was able to get away from the men and hid before calling police, officials said.
Investigators prioritized resources for the suspected “hate crime” incident and re-interviewed the alleged victim.
“As a result, it has been determined that the story was completely fabricated,” Malden police Chief Kevin Molis said in a statement. “The alleged victim admitted that he had made up the entire story,” saying he wanted to “raise awareness about things that are going on around the country.”
Police informed the man of the legal consequences of filing a false police report and warned him of the potential damaging impact that they had on the local community.
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said, “When I heard the story was fabricated, we were not surprised at all.”
Christenson said he was told about the incident in an email at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and he reached out to Molis, who was working on it by 2:30 a.m.
“Our community reacted quickly, and 24 to 48 hours later, here we are feeling better about who we are and why we are one of the most diverse cities in the state,” Christenson said. “Residents like ours who are letting us know when they hear or see something like this, that is important to how a city like ours moves forward.”
News reports of claims of harassment and hateful graffiti by Trump supporters have abounded since the Nov. 8 election, but a number of high-profile cases have fallen apart. In Lafayette, La., a Muslim woman will be charged with filing a false report after she admitted to making up a story about two men — one in a Trump hat — robbing her of her wallet and her hijab head scarf. In Santa Monica, Calif., police said they could find no evidence an alleged beating of a gay man by Trump supporters had taken place.
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