Target: NYPD Police Commissioner William J. Bratton
Goal: Teach police officers about Muslim and South Asian communities to end racial profiling
Chaumtoli Huq was arrested by New York City police officers in front of a busy New York intersection for obstructing the sidewalk in Times Square and charged with obstructing the sidewalk, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. her crime? She was waiting for her husband and children, who were using the restroom inside a restaurant. In light of Huq’s experience and cases of racially motivated police brutality cropping up all over the United States, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton should teach his officers about Muslim and South Asian communities to end racial profiling.
According to Huq, on the day of her arrest, she moved to stand alongside the wall along a busy intersection in Times Square while she waited for her husband and children to use the restroom in a local restaurant. The police continued to urge her to move away from the sidewalk and when she did not, they arrested her. Huq told the officers that they were hurting her, and in the process of the arrest, she was forced to twist her arm and lost her shoe. This arrest was captured on the phones of nearby citizens.
Huq’s charges have been dismissed, but she is now filing a federal civil rights suit for the police’s discriminatory misconduct. She believes she was a target of racial profiling, since she is Bangladeshi-American. Unfortunately, cases of racial profiling are rampant in the United States. To put an end to this conduct, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton needs to teach his officers about Muslim and South Asian communities. Racial profiling is a consequence of fear and ignorance. It can only be stopped once the NYPD comes to fully appreciate and understand the diverse cultural practices and rich histories of these groups of Americans.
Dear Police Commissioner Bratton,
I wish to bring to your attention a deeply troubling issue regarding racial profiling. In the summer of 2014, the NYPD arrested Chaumtoli Huq for obstructing the sidewalk. This woman was merely standing against a wall waiting for her husband and children while they used the restroom. The police then arrested her, twisting her arm and humiliating her in front of a crowd. She believes she was a victim of racial profiling as she is of South Asian descent.
As the police commissioner, you are responsible for protecting all American citizens, regardless of cultural heritage or racial background. I implore you to teach your officers about Muslim and South Asian communities to prevent future incidents such as this one from occurring. Police officers should never rely on racial profiling, as it is discriminatory and violates human rights. Your officers need to learn how to respect all cultures and treat all human beings with dignity.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: RJ via Flickr