Amid heightened tensions gripping the nation after three Muslim students were slain in Chapel Hill, N.C., a Texas student has admitted she lied when she told police a white man targeted her because of her Muslim beliefs.
The unidentified University of Texas-Arlington student told police a white male driving a white Ford pickup with a Texas flag on the antenna followed her for six miles Wednesday morning before getting out of the vehicle and pointing a gun at her, the Dallas Morning News reported.
She offered specific details about the assailant’s attire, even noting that he had a black bracelet and a wooden, beaded bracelet on one wrist.
The man, she said, fled the scene after threatening her.
After the woman filed the complaint, police increased patrols on campus.
The student even posted the allegations on her Facebook page, saying the man may have targeted her because she is Muslim and referencing the Chapel Hill slayings, according to the Morning News.
But it was all a hoax.
In a follow-up interview with police Friday, the student admitted she had not been on campus the day of the alleged confrontation, a UT-Arlington spokesperson told the Morning News.
It is not clear if the student will be charged with filing a false police report.
“We take these issues very seriously,” university President Vistasp M. Karbhari said in a statement. “The safety and security of all UT Arlington students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern.”
Much like what followed the death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., many have rushed to judgment about what sparked the shooting of the three Muslim students in North Carolina. Police have said a dispute over a parking spot may have prompted the killings.
The grieving sister of one of the slain students blamed the “American Sniper” movie for contributing to the bloodshed, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that it’s “open season against Islam” in America.
Critics contend the incident was a hate crime and are borrowing from the “Black Lives Matter” theme developed during protests over Brown’s death, using a #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag on social media.
Muslim hoaxes matter, too.