Austin, Texas police are investigating a reported hate crime against several women Trump supporters who were wearing Make America Great Again hats during a night of drinking downtown.
Austin Police Department confirmed to the Austin-American Statesman “a report has been filed and the case has been assigned to a detective for investigative follow up” after Haley Maddox and her friends were involved in a scuffle on Sixth Street on March 2.
“In addition, the Downtown Area Chain of Command is reviewing video of the officer’s interaction with the victims/witnesses,” according to a prepared statement Monday.
The announcement comes after Maddox posted a video to Instagram on Saturday alleging she was attacked along with a group of girlfriends who donned MAGA hats for a night out.
“My name is Haley and on Saturday night me and my girlfriends were viciously attacked by an entire bar of people, men and women included, for wearing MAGA hats,” Maddox said in the video, which featured her staring into the camera with her red MAGA hat on, a shiner on her right eye. “We did not go in with the intentions of starting a fight. We were just wearing our MAGA hats out on a Saturday and we wanted to show our support for Texas Independence Week.
“We asked one of the bartenders to help us, and he ended up choking out one of my friends. By the time we got away from the situation, cops were called, cases were filed. We made it one block and another random man came up and attacked us again, all over our hats,” she claimed.
“The cops that we reported this to showed bias, in our opinion, toward us because we were Trump supporters and insinuated that this happened because we wore those hats and that’s to be expected nowadays, I guess,” Maddox continued.
“We do support cops, we do, we just want them to do their job in Austin and I don’t feel like they did.”
She also posted a close-up picture of her bruised eye and a letter to the president asking to make attacks on anyone wearing MAGA hats an official hate crime.
“If we can change restrooms for transgender folk, why not do something to protect us too?” she asked in the post.
But Maddox isn’t the only person posting to social media about the incident.
— TruthWarrior (@TexasSAR_) March 10, 2019
A few days after Maddox’s Instagram video went up, Twitter user TruthWarrior posted a video she claims is evidence that Maddox is lying about incident. The TruthWarrior account was created this month, and it includes the bio “Texans United For America, Texas Nomads SAR, Texas GOP Delegate.”
“She wasn’t attacked for the hat at all. She got into a drunken fight with another drunk patron and got her ass kicked,” TruthWarrior tweeted. “Then she made this up to save face. We have the full video of her belligerence.”
A provided Dropbox link results in an error for “too many requests.”
The American-Statesman summarized the footage:
In it, Maddox and her friends say a man struck one of the women after she started recording him. Police talk to the man and tell the group they can’t detain him because, “an assault — unless it occurs within our presence — there’s not a whole lot more we can do than take a report,” an officer says in the video.
A second officer tells them that wearing the MAGA hats was not a problem but that the group shouldn’t have escalated the situation by confronting the man.
“You guys can’t escalate the disturbance and make it more of a disturbance,” the second officer tells Maddox and her friends. “Two wrongs don’t make a right. … You guys are following him, you’re recording him, it’s almost like you’re harassing him at that point.”
As police continue to investigate, the social media war rages on, with TruthWarrior posting text messages she alleges are from Maddox bragging about the fight, and Maddox posting news reports about the attack and video updates on her “recovery.”