An Art Dealer Says Teens Attacked Him for His MAGA Hat. Now, He’s Accusing Police of Anti-Trump Bias Because They Haven’t Found Proof
Jahangir “John” Turan, owner of David Parker Gallery, was attacked on Tuesday on Canal Street.
A Manhattan art dealer is alleging that he was attacked by a group of teens who targeted him for wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball hat. Claiming that the police have been unable or unwilling to locate his attackers since the Tuesday assault, Jahangir “John” Turan says he is speaking out to the media in the hopes of getting justice.
Turan, who owns the David Parker gallery in midtown, suffered a black eye, bruises, and other swelling to his face after he was assaulted while walking on Canal Street, near West Broadway, just above Tribeca around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.
The gallerist told NBC News he had purchased the red MAGA hat earlier that day at the Trump Tower, which is located just one block from his West 57th street gallery. Indeed, Turan posted the entire process of going to the Trump Campaign Store on Facebook Live, narrating his arrival and the process of picking out the individual hat.
The assault, which was undocumented, occurred later the same day when he was going to meet a client while wearing the hat. Turan recounts that he was passing a group of “kids,” approximately 18 to 20 years old, when a young woman flipped his hat into the street. As he bent down to retrieve it, he claims, the rest of the group started assaulting him, shouting anti-Trump statements including “Fuck Trump” and smashing his head against a pole.
Police have been unable to track down the alleged attackers, partly because Turan could not provide any descriptions. The New York Daily News reported that the NYPD said it had no reason to doubt his story, but added that two law enforcement sources told the paper that there was “some skepticism about the alleged Trump-hating gang attack, and said it might just have been a brawl between him and another person.”
For his part, Turan has expressed frustration with the police. “Of course I’m [angry]—why do you think I went to the media?”, he told the Daily News. “I felt angry after Tuesday and Wednesday, when I didn’t see them doing anything. Two days, no arrests. I think some of these cops are anti-Trump.”
According to a gallery listing page, David Parker Gallery is a primarily secondary market dealer selling prints and multiples by artists including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Mr. Brainwash, Takashi Murakami, and Keith Haring.
Turan did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The New York Police Department sent artnet News a copy of the incident summary, which reads:
On Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at approximately 1850 hours police responded to a 911 call of an assault in 321 Canal Street within the confines of the 1st Precinct. Officers were informed by a 35-year-old male victim he was walking when he was punched in the head by unknown individuals in an unprovoked manner. There is no description of the individuals and the victim refused medical attention on scene. The investigation remains ongoing.
Background: The victim states he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.