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Florida college cops criticized after bogus gun scare over ‘Middle Eastern’ woman

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Police at the University of Central Florida were on the defensive on Wednesday amid questions over a gun scare prompted by a student’s account of a “panicky and shaky” woman she described as wearing a Muslim hijab, WKMG-TV reported.

“I thought it was problematic that they were able to detect ethnicity but not necessarily the gender,” said Rasha Mubarak, a member of the Florida chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “I think there needs to be a thorough investigation before sending out an alert to 60,000 members of the UCF community.”

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The campus library was evacuated on Tuesday after officials sent an alert warning students about a “possible Middle Eastern gun man/woman” in the area. A SWAT team was also called in to respond to the reputed threat.

UCF Police Chief Richard Beary released the online post that triggered the alert, as well as a 911 phone call in which a woman told the dispatcher that she and a friend were “sitting in the stairwell and this girl came in she’s like wearing full like, Muslim, like a hijab, like everything. She looked really panicky and shaky. I’m assuming she is praying, which is normal, which we didn’t think much of it. My friend, like, saw a silver and black handheld object. It was some sort of weapon. She was like really freaked out to see us.”

The president of the school’s Muslim Student Association, Mohamed Mohamed, also expressed concern over the alert that followed.

“It was surprising, because they didn’t even know the supposed gender of the gunman or woman but they knew they were Middle Eastern,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “It could have been me, it could have been anyone I know. It’s really scary that people can be so discriminatory and prejudiced.”

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While Beary was positive about his department’s response time, he said the incident will be reviewed.

“We are trying to deal with the lives of young people and get information out,” he said. “If we make a mistake along that way because we are acting quickly to save lives then I’m sorry.”

Listen to the recording of the 911 call, as posted online, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump is ‘a bottomless pit of emotional need’ with a ‘desperate’ desire for friends: NYT’s Charles Blow

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New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow called out the president in his Sunday editorial for always associating the country with himself.

The byproduct of narcissism is that everything surrounds the narcissist. Such is the case with President Donald Trump's latest series of tweets talking about "My Stock Market" and quoting a fan referring to him as the second coming of Christ.

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‘Disconnected from reality’: NY Times editor ridicules Trump for being a ‘farce’ of a president

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New York Times editorial board member, Michelle Cottle, released a scathing op-ed highlighting the president's tendency to give oxygen to his adversaries that no one else would be paying attention to otherwise.

In a piece relating the White House to a "three-ring" circus, Cottle called the president a "farce" for his new war with Anthony Scaramucci.

As the president tweeted, no one had heard of Scaramucci until Trump hired him and former chief-of-staff John Kelly fired him after only 11 days.

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Trump goes off on Twitter rant about ‘My Stock Market’ at nearly 2 a.m. in France

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President Donald Trump has an early morning meeting Monday with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. He also has a full day of meeting with the G-7, but that wasn't his focus in the early morning hours.

"My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election (sic), November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!" Trump tweeted Sunday night in the U.S., which was nearly 2 a.m. in France where the president is staying during the G-7 summit.

My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!

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