Alleged hate crimes and reports of racial violence have risen in the weeks since Donald Trump took the election by storm, but recent investigations prove that things aren’t always what they seem. As two Bowling Green State University students are finding out, making things up can come with serious consequences.
Eleesha Long, a 24-year-old African-American student, filed a police report stating that three white men wearing Trump shirts assaulted her and shouted racial slurs as she was collecting yard signs. Long story short, an investigation by Bowling Green police found that the incident never happened.
Long posted the story to Facebook, but never called police and reported the crime. Her post caught the attention of her father who contacted law enforcement shortly thereafter. A Bowling Green State University officer took her to the police station to file a report.
Investigators stated that, during the report, Long changed her story multiple times, including where it happened, what happened, and when it happened. Police obtained a search warrant for her Facebook and Verizon history due to the doubt generated by her report.
Evidence revealed that Long was never at the location where the incident occurred. Text messages sent from Long to her boyfriend and mother were full of racial and hateful remarks against Trump supporters. The texts included statements like “I hope they all get AIDS” and “I haven’t met a decent Trump supporter yet.”
“I think that it’s terrible that someone would want to start lying about something like that,” said Monica Florez, a student at Bowling Green.
Long is facing charges of falsification and obstructing official business.
A second BGSU student filed a report that claimed two attackers robbed him and called him a racial slur. The alleged attack took place behind the Student Recreation Center.
Police found that this incident was also fabricated, but did not disclose whether the student would face charges.
“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,” Student Affairs Vice President Thomas Gibson said in a statement.
Punishment for filing a false police report in Ohio includes up to 180 days in jail for a first-time offender. Those with multiple counts of falsification could face up to three years in prison. Those charged and convicted of obstructing official business could receive up to 90 days in jail.
The Bowling Green State University students aren’t alone in fabricating hate crime stories since the election.
A Muslim student at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette reported that two Trump supporters attacked her, stole her wallet, and removed her hijab. The student also stated that one of the attackers was wearing a Trump hat.
Major news outlets ran the story as fact but the Lafayette police stated that the student later admitted the report was a fabrication. She faces criminal charges for filing a false police report.
Reports of hate crimes are on the rise, but in many cases there is a lack of evidence for these incidents. In a world where everyone has a portable camera in their pocket, video evidence to support such serious claims is lacking. As a result, these liberal millennials are likely to experience the real-world consequences of breaking the law.