Hate Hoax: Pro-Trump Students Cleared of Harassment Claims
Two college students who are President-Elect Donald Trump supporters have been cleared of accusations that they harassed other students after celebrating Trump’s victory with police finding no evidence to support the hate crime claims.
Following Trump’s stunning victory against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, Babson College students Parker Rand-Ricciardi and Edward Tomasso drove through Wellesley College in celebration.
Other students claimed Ricciardi and Tomasso drove through the campus harassing on-lookers, spitting, and yelling slurs at anti-Trump students, according to the Boston Globe.
Ricciardi and Tomasso strongly denied the accusations, saying all they had done was drive through the campus shouting Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan and waving a Trump flag.
The Wellesley College Honor Board has fully cleared the false accusations, announcing that they found no evidence to support that the two men had harassed or shouted epithets at other students.
Immediately following the incident, the mainstream media ran with the accusations, reporting them as fact, which Ricciardi’s attorney say has taken a toll on the entire Ricciardi family.
“This has been an extremely difficult, painful five weeks for Parker and his family, one that has naturally taken a toll on them,” Ricciardi’s attorney said in a statement to the Boston Globe. “They are grateful for the kindness and support of so many people, including both friends and complete strangers. Their hope is to spend some time decompressing and enjoying the holidays.”
Tomasso’s attorney said his client was “pleased and gratified” with the decision by the Honors Board.
“Babson College certainly had a system in place to deal with allegations like this, and he trusted in the system,” Tomasso’s attorney said in a statement. “He is extremely happy that his name has been cleared of allegations that were completely untrue and had no basis in fact.”
New York Magazine, for instance, ran with the false hate crime accusations using a headline that read “’White Power’ Shouts And Assaults Reported on Day After Election.”