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

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

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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 COMMENT

  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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