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1 Aug, 2019 21:47

‘This is America’: Gallery owner says MAGA hat triggered brutal New York beatdown

‘This is America’: Gallery owner says MAGA hat triggered brutal New York beatdown

A New Jersey art gallery owner says that he was beaten up by a gang of teenagers for the ‘crime’ of wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in public in support of President Donald Trump.

Jahangir “John” Turan, 42, said he bought the iconic red hat just minutes before he was jumped by a gang of teenagers he described only as “kids” in lower Manhattan, at the intersection of Canal and Mercer streets, on Tuesday evening.

The teens yelled “f**k Trump” as they attacked, Turan told WNYW-TV. The youths allegedly stomped on Turan and slammed his head into nearby scaffolding. One fractured cheek and swollen eye later, the gallery owner is waiting to see an eye specialist to see if there’s any permanent vision loss.

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“That’s kind of ridiculous, to get beat up like this for wearing a hat,” he said, adding that he feels unsafe showing his support for Trump in New York, and calling on the NYPD to find his attackers. 

“I love President Trump. I think he’s doing a great job,” the gallery owner told WNYW. “It’s sad to get beat up for wearing this hat.”

While the incident drew widespread condemnation on social media, there were some who cheered on the alleged assault. 

Turan would not be the only Trump supporter to have been targeted for wearing a MAGA hat in public. Nor is he the first “person of color” – to use the mainstream media’s preferred term – to find himself subject to violence. In April, an African immigrant was jumped by two men in Maryland for his choice of headwear, taking a punch in the face before the assailants ran off with his MAGA hat. 

Countless other cases of harassment, assault and hat-thievery have been reported since Trump took office in 2017.

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