A Florida teenager was recorded getting viciously beaten by a group of students for allegedly wearing a Trump 2020 hat to school.
On Dec. 12, 2019, the teen’s mother, who goes by “American Diaries” on Twitter, released a 21-second clip of her son getting pummeled by several students on a Hamilton County school bus as he tries to fight back. The incident supposedly happened one month before, according to a series of racially charged — and controversial — tweets she posted.
“I am sitting in the hospital with my 14 year old kid because he was just jumped by 8 black kids on the school bus, I guess that’s what happens when a kid wears a #Trump hat to school,” she tweeted on Nov. 21, with a photo of the boy’s covered face. “And who’s the violent ones again? Earlier today they poured milk all over his head.”
The mother later clarified that day that her son, who she identified only as “Tyler,” was jumped by five instead of eight students. She also alleged that her son was the victim of a hate crime.
“Plain and simple this was a hate crime and attempted murder according to the state of Florida since it was over three kids that jumped him and these kids are older and larger,” she tweeted. “Thankfully my son got into the fetal position and held his hands over his head he’s got defensive wounds.”
The woman’s original tweet went viral, receiving over 11,000 likes and 8,000 retweets. She later explained that Tyler had bought his Trump hat a few weeks prior to the incident and had been “proud to wear it.” Due to bullying, however, he put the hat away, she said.
“From that point on he was steadily getting messed with. He was getting hit, tripped & verbally abused on the bus, but it all came to a head yesterday on his bus ride home,” she explained. “The nurse noted there are bruises on his arm that were older along with his new injuries.”
A few weeks following her original tweet, the woman followed up on her thread by claiming that even though a criminal investigation had been launched, police did not consider the assault on Tyler a hate crime.
The mother also said the family hired attorney Foye Walker. At his supposed advice, she released the video of the fight, which was retweeted over 16,000 times. In a statement to the New York Post, Walker condemned the students seen beating Tyler.
“Tyler wore a Trump hat to school two weeks prior to the beating,” Walker wrote to the newspaper in an email. “It started and/or increased a series of bullying that culminated in his assault and batter … His beating appears to be the result of his support for President Trump.”
Yet, in a separate statement to the Post, school officials denied that the fight was politically motivated, instead asserting that a verbal altercation had taken place just before the fight occurred.
“We absolutely do not condone the use of physical force between students,” superintendent Rex Mitchell said. “This was an unfortunate incident that we take very seriously as the safety and welfare of the students is always our top priority.”
The five students have since been charged with first-degree misdemeanor battery, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office announced. The department further confirmed that the assault did not meet the criteria for a hate crime.
Due to the graphic nature of the video, In The Know has chosen not to release the footage.
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