Home News Campus police under fire for using “Middle Eastern” to describe suspects

Campus police under fire for using “Middle Eastern” to describe suspects


Several Muslim groups are demanding an apology from Univ. of Central Florida police after the department used the term “Middle Eastern” to describe a suspect.

The police are being accused of “jumping to conclusions” about what was happening on campus after a rumor started spreading Tuesday afternoon  that some students spotted “a girl inside the library with a gun.”

UCF Tweet

“A social media post about a woman with a gun praying inside the library sent the campus into a frenzy,” WFTV9 reported.

UCF police say they started receiving 911 calls, which included a description of the person as looking “Muslim” and “Middle Eastern”.

“We were sitting in the stairwell and this girl came in who was wearing like a full Muslim, a Berk, yeah a Hijab, like everything. She looked like really, like panicky,” said one 911 caller.

The campus was on lockdown for a short time, after the unconfirmed report prompted a campus-wide alert– communicated via emails, text messages and on social media.

muslim UCF

Maha Qureshi, future president of UCF’s Muslim Student Association said, police did a great job responding to the situation, but she wishes they could’ve been more sensitive in the way they put out their message.

UCF police originally tweeted: “Possible Middle Eastern gunman/woman in UCF main campus library. Avoid the area.”

Police Chief Richard Beary is standing by the messages that went out.  He says when they are in a time crunch, mistakes do happen but the information that went out is what was intended to go out, he said.

Beary stressed during a news conference afterwards  that these are “time-sensitive” situations and that the message was not meant to be insensitive.

The tweet was later deleted, but a dept spokesperson said that was done in the “heat of the moment” but it was a mistake, WFTV reports.

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  1. I totally agree! I’m so tired of being described as “white male”. I’ve had it, and if I hear it again, I have the local news on speed dial, and my ACLU representative.

    From now on it better be non-Hispanic Western European Anglo-Germanan-Irish-Native American.


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