ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor police say there is no evidence to support a Muslim University of Michigan student’s claim that a man threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.
Now the woman, who isn’t being identified, could be charged with filing a false police report, according to police. Detective Lt. Matthew Lige said the final police report will be sent to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review early next week.
It would be up to the prosecutor’s office to authorize charges against the woman, which could include a felony charge because the crime she reported — ethnic intimidation — is a felony.
“Sending it to the prosecutor’s office is standard procedure when the investigation has revealed the incident as reported was false, and the person who reported knows it’s false,” Lige said on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The woman told police that she was walking on East William Street near South State Street on Nov. 11 when she was approached by a white man who threatened to light her hijab on fire if she did not remove it, even going so far as displaying a lighter, according to police.
The woman told police that she removed her hijab and that the suspect fled on foot.
Detectives have determined the incident in question did not occur, Lige said.
The investigation — conducted by Ann Arbor police detectives in conjunction with officials from the University of Michigan Police Department and the FBI — included interviewing witnesses and viewing surveillance video from the location where the woman said the incident occurred.
There were no witnesses to the actual event as it was reported, Lige said. Investigators said the woman also doesn’t appear in any of the footage.
“Detectives reviewed hours of surveillance video,” Lige said. “We could not find her on any video. They just weren’t there.”
Why isn’t her name and photograph being released? Why isn’t she being charged with a hate crime against white men? Her attention to detail suggests it was premeditated, as HotAir notes in Another hijab hoax:
Here is how the Free Press reported it at the time:
Police describe the suspect as a man age 20 to 30, with an average height and athletic build, bad body odor and an unkempt appearance.