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Attack on Muslim woman in Indiana being looked at by FBI: officials

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Federal authorities in Indiana are investigating an attack on a Muslim woman by an Indiana University student, officials said on Tuesday.

Bloomington police said that Triceten Bickford, 19, attacked the woman at a restaurant, tried to remove her head scarf and also bit a police officer on the calf. Bickford faces charges of strangulation, intimidation, battery of a police officer and public intoxication.

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which calls itself the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the united States, has urged prosecutors to charge Bickford with a bias crime under Indiana’s criminal code.

FBI Indianapolis spokeswoman Wendy Osborne said the agency was “looking into the incident and if we determine a federal law was violated we will open a case immediately.”

In Saturday’s attack, Bickford yelled “white power” and “kill the police,” police said in a statement on Monday, citing the woman and a witness.

Police said the woman and her 9-year-old daughter sat at a table outside a Turkish restaurant in Bloomington, when Bickford grabbed the back of her neck, squeezed her neck and forced her head down toward the table.

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He used his other hand to try to remove the scarf from her head, which caused the scarf to put pressure on her throat and restrict her breathing, police said.

The woman suffered neck pain, but did not require medical attention, police said. Her daughter was not injured.

Police did not identify the woman, but NBC Indiana affiliate WTHR said she is a 47-year-old Turkish immigrant who has been in the United States for 18 years.

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The woman’s husband, who was inside the restaurant and heard his wife’s screams, and a passerby restrained Bickford until police arrived, police said. The suspect spit on both men and threatened to kill them, police said.

Bickford tried to kick out police car windows and bit an officer on the calf as he was removed from the police car at the jail, police said.

Bickford has been released from jail, and media reports said he returned to class on Monday. Media reports also said that Bickford had been drinking heavily and had not taken anti-anxiety medication before the incident.

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The university, which is also investigating, called the incident “horrifying” and said in a statement on Monday that it “is not representative of our students, nor of the culture of inclusion and tolerance” at the university and in Bloomington.

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Grant McCool)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Lindsey Graham backs up Trump’s widely condemned impeachment tirade: ‘A lynching in every sense’

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President Donald Trump's widely condemned comparison of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry to a "lynching" has the support of at least one Republican senator.

As reported by The Hill's Alex Bolton, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday agreed that with the president's characterization of the House Democrats' efforts to hold him accountable.

"This is a lynching in every sense," Graham said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) similarly agreed with Graham that House Democrats' efforts to impeach the president amount to a "lynching," as reported by Politico's Burgess Everett.

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Donald Trump is mirroring the career path of Vladimir Putin: Scientology doc maker Alex Gibney

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According to the director of the "Going Clear," the definitive documentary on Scientology, the rise of both Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin neatly mirror each other in the way that they have propelled themselves into office by using media manipulation as their most potent weapon.

As part of a discussion with the Daily Beast about his latest work, Citizen K, a look at the life of Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alex Gibney said Putin's career trajectory became a major part of his story -- and he noticed extraordinary parallels with Trump.

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Princeton historian delivers the definitive smackdown of Trump’s ‘insulting’ lynching tweet

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Princeton University History Professor Kevin Kruse on Tuesday delivered a thorough takedown of President Donald Trump's claim that House Democrats' impeachment inquiry represents a "lynching."

In calling the tweet "twelve different kinds of bullsh*t," Kruse began by discussing the constitutional mechanics of the impeachment process in the House that only require a bare majority of lawmakers to favor in order to advance. Concerns about due process in impeachment only come into play in the Senate, where the president is ensured a fair trial and where two-thirds of lawmakers are needed to convict the president and remove him from office.

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