A video of a Chicago man being beaten up and having his car stolen went viral after social media posts spread the message that he was attacked Wednesday because he voted for Donald Trump. However, the victim is saying that it not what happened.
Chicago Police confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the victim David Wilcox, 49, told them that the altercation started after a minor incident where his car “brushed up” against another vehicle. Wilcox said he got out of his car and asked the passengers in the other vehicle if they had insurance. And that’s when a melee ensued.
The video, which has appeared in multiple YouTube posts and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, shows multiple men kicking, punching, and throwing Wilcox to the ground. While this is going on, onlookers can be heard taunting the victim, saying things like “You voted Trump,” “Don’t vote Trump,” “Beat his ass.”
Warning: some may find the content of this video graphic.
In a longer version of the video posted to Twitter, after the beating, the assailants can be seen stealing Wilcox’s car while dragging him as they sped away.
The tweet reads: Blacks beat white man, steal car, dragging his body. The Facebook video caption: "They Caught A Trump Already,” and has been retweeted more than 5,500 times.
A Chicago Police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that they arrived at the scene around 1 p.m. on Wednesday after a call came in for a battery in progress. While they were en route, they learned that the victim’s car had been stolen and the incident was upgraded to a vehicular hijacking.
Police said that in their initial interview with Wilcox he did not mention the anti-Trump barbs being shouted at him during the fight.
It wasn’t until the video was posted to social media — and was then sent to Chicago Police — that the department was made aware of the divisive political rhetoric. A CPD spokesperson says that the department is in the process of analyzing the video and attempting to locate the person who filmed it and other witnesses at the scene.
Police said that Wilcox was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and he is in good condition.
Wilcox told the Chicago Tribune that he does support Trump and he did vote for him.
The hoax that the fight started because Wilcox voted for Trump has also been promoted by the extreme right.
Leading neo-Nazi and white supremacist publication The Daily Stormer wrote in a post about the video: “This is the last stand of the Black man. Come February, you’re not going to be seeing things like this anymore. I can tell you that.”
Chicago police told BuzzFeed News they expected to have another update on the investigation midday Friday.