An Emirati tourist was briefly arrested last week in the U.S. state of Ohio, after a hotel clerk allegedly told family members that he was pledging allegiance to ISIS in the lobby.
The man, identified by The National as Ahmed Al Menhali, was wearing a traditional thobe when the incident occurred on June 29 in Avon, Ohio.
A video of the incident, captured by a vest cam of one of the police officers, shows a number of policemen approaching Menhali with assault rifles, ordering him to the ground. The video shows him cooperating at all times, telling the officers "This is no good, I am a tourist," as they handcuffed him.
After no weapons or evidence of ties to terrorism were found on Menhali, the officers released him, but the shock of the incident caused him to pass out, and he was taken to the hospital.
Police say they responded after family members of the clerk called and reported "a suspicious man with disposable phones, two of them, in a full head dress."
After they responded with assault rifles, they discovered that the clerk did not hear the man pledge allegiance to ISIS, and that her suspicion was aroused because of his traditional dress and speaking Arabic.
“Once a report comes in, police have to act, but they have to act in an appropriate manner, not based on someone’s anti-Muslim bigotry,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's national spokesperson, told Newsnet5.com .
The police said that it was clearly a misunderstanding.
Menhali was in Cleveland for followup medical care after suffering a stroke, but had gone to Avon, outside of Cleveland, after being unable to find an available room due to the upcoming Republican National Convention.