Was a 13-year-old California boy attacked by older Hispanic teens for being white and a supporter of President Donald Trump? No, that's not true: Corning, California, police concluded the boy suffered a broken nose during a "pre-arranged fight," and after the boy "brandished" a knife and used racial slurs. Police recommended that the district attorney consider criminal charges against the boy and all of the teens involved in the incident.
"It did not appear that race or political affiliation was the cause of the problem," police said in a written statement.
The claim originated in a series of tweets (archived here) posted days after the fight by the mother of the boy who suffered the broken nose. She added this message to photos of her son with his face covered with blood:
My 13 year old son was attacked for being white and a @realDonaldTrump supporter. Him and his older brother were called names and beat with a mallet breaking my youngest son (13) nose. Racism is real and not one sided! Help us seek justice! @FLOTUS @Franklin_Graham
This is what social media users saw:
My 13 year old son was attacked for being white and a @realDonaldTrump supporter. Him and his older brother were called names and beat with a mallet breaking my youngest son (13) nose. Racism is real and not one sided! Help us seek justice! @FLOTUS @Franklin_Graham pic.twitter.com/kjgjnpidun-- Jennifer (@Jennife73830809) December 26, 2019
Lead Stories began fact-checking this claim soon after the tweets became viral on December 26, 2019. We first published a story titled Checking: California Mom Claims 13-Year-Old Son Was Attacked For Being White And An @RealDonaldTrump Supporter.
Our suspicion was raised because of another incident we had debunked in which parents claimed their 14-year-old boy was attacked by black students on a Florida school bus because he was a Trump supporter. The law enforcement investigation concluded that politics were not involved in that fight. Read our story, titled Fake News: Attack Of 14-Year-Old White Kid On School Bus Is NOT Part Of An American Civil War.
Corning police confirmed our suspicions with a statement posted on their Facebook page on Friday, December 27, 2019:
The key paragraphs are:
The juveniles were involved in an unauthorized boxing match at the Corning Skate Park. Following the boxing match, several of the involved subjects began pushing each other. The pushing spiraled into a heated verbal exchange in which racial slurs were used as insults. One of the reporting juveniles brandished a folding knife with the blade closed. The two groups of juveniles agreed to meet at the park later to fight.
Sometime shortly after 1700 hours, the two groups met at the park and the pre-arranged fight took place. One 13-year-old boy, who previously brandished the knife, sustained a broken nose as a result of being punched by an 18-year-old boy who came to fight on behalf of his younger siblings. No further visible or treatable injuries were reported. It is our belief that no weapons were used in the fight. Although some of the involved juveniles from both sides of this dispute used racial slurs, it did not appear that race or political affiliation was the cause of this problem.
Police are "requesting charges be reviewed... against all involved subjects," which includes the 13-year-old boy whose mother claimed he was attacked for supporting Trump.