Muslims demand suspension of California cops who arrest 11 year old girl
A prominent national Islamic advocacy organization is calling for the suspension of California Highway Patrol
(CHP) officers who the group says assaulted an 11-year-old Muslim girl during a anti-war, pro-Palestinian rally Saturday in San Francisco. (The girl turned 11 in February of this year. She was charged with "battery" of a police officer.)
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says photos and video shot at the protest show that police acted improperly in arresting the girl. SEE: http://www.indybay.org/ (The girl's father is available for media interviews. Contact CAIR's Northern California office at the numbers listed below.)
The 11-year-old was arrested Saturday when police blocked a march across the Golden Gate Bridge, despite the fact that event organizers had a valid permit to cross the bridge. Media reports quoted witnesses who said police over-reacted to a relatively small number of protestors. One passerby told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I don't think these demonstrators presented any threat to anyone. The police are the ones who shut everything down. I would rather see all of these officers looking for terrorists in airports." Witnesses also say police manhandled journalists during the march.
A statement issued today by CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad read in part: "It is unconscionable that police clad in riot gear would pull an 11-year-old child out of a group of peaceful protestors, throw her to the ground, handcuff her, haul her away like a common criminal, and then keep her shackled for hours at a police station. From all accounts, this girl did nothing to provoke arrest. The officers involved in this incident
should be suspended pending an immediate and thorough investigation."
Just last week, a Georgetown University Campus Police officer was suspended after allegedly assaulting a Muslim man, his wife and their 4-month-old child as they were leaving their space in a Washington, D.C., parking garage.