An Emirati businessman was hospitalised in the US state of Ohio after local police officers aggressively arrested him, and yelled at him to get on the ground, after a call was placed by a hotel guest claiming he had “pledged allegiance” to Daesh.
CCTV footage from the scene shows 41-year-old Ahmed Al Menhali– from Abu Dhabi- standing outside his hotel talking on his phone in Arabic in his traditional kandoura when he was herded by five officers all pointing their guns at him, causing him to suffer a stroke and be admitted to hospital.
WAM released a statement on Sunday, saying that the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation warned its citizens travelling abroad to refrain from wearing traditional garments, in the fear of getting harassed or worse.
The police handcuffed him after a woman working at the Fairfield Inn and Suites called 911 and reported him as a Daesh member.
He had been in the US for medical reasons.
“The fact that the police referred to his clothing in their report as a criminal indicator is very concerning,” added Julia Shearson, the executive director of the CAIR in Cleveland to The Independent. “Police need more diversity training. This is shocking to have happened in Avon, one of the most affluent and suburban neighbourhoods outside of Cleveland,” she said.
The footage, which was aired on News Channel 5 and other US channels, went viral on social media websites.
In the video, Al Menhali can be seen saying repeatedly as he is lying on the floor that “I am a tourist. This is not good.”
This is not the first time the police departments in the US have shown a lack of cultural awareness and insensitivity.
An Indian grandfather needed spinal fusion surgery to repair damage to his back after his family says a police officer in Madison twisted his arm and forced him to the ground in 2015.