Ex-NFL Player Accused of Staging Fake MAGA Hate Crime in Georgia

A former offensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Bucs has been charged with a false report of a crime, insurance fraud, and concealing a license plate in connection with the burglary and torching of his own restaurant.

Edawn Louis Coughman was captured leaving the scene of his restaurant. Inside the eatery, police discovered racial slurs scrawled on the walls as well as "MAGA" and swastikas.

It certainly gives a new twist to the idea of a fake hate crime.

AJC:

(Image via Gwinnett County Police Department)

Mr. Coughman is not the world's dumbest criminal, but he's close.

“Officers saw racially motivated words, swastikas, and ‘MAGA,’” Pihera said. “Several booth cushions were sliced open. They also found broken mirrors, cut wires and a damaged video surveillance system. The smell of spray paint was very fresh. When officers touched it, the paint appeared wet.”

He was arrested after officers determined he wasn’t being honest about what happened, Pihera said.

On Thursday, police searched Coughman’s truck and found cans of black spray paint and a yellow crowbar that matched pry marks discovered on the back door of the business, police said.

Government gives more severe penalties to those convicted of a hate crime. Isn't it about time government gave more severe sentences to those convicted of faking a hate crime? If you want to stop the Jussie Smolletts of the world from making it harder for those who truly do suffer from a racially motivated attack to be believed, you've got to make lying about being a victim of a hate crime a more serious offense.

As it stands now, con men like Smollett are able to get a ton of free media for being a victim. That he was never prosecuted is a travesty. Coughman apparently believed he'd get a free ride thanks to his status as a former pro ballplayer and the victim of racism. You have to wonder how successful that strategy would have been if the cops had arrived on the scene a few minutes later?

Fake hate crimes are an epidemic. Making the false reporting of one a jailing offense would make the potential perpetrator think twice before initiating an investigation.