Police and a mayor in Ohio have said they are “very sorry” after wrongfully arresting at gunpoint an Emirati man, who they accused of having links to IS.
In a small “peace meeting” broadcast by local media WEWS-TV, Avon’s chief of police Richard Bosley said to Ahmed al-Menhali, who was detained while wearing a traditional white ankle-length robe and headscarf: “To disrespect you was not the intent of the acts of any of our officers.
“It is a very regrettable circumstance that occurred for you. You should not have been put in that situation like you were.”
Avon’s law director John Gasior added that the city was “very sorry” for the incident.
Reports said police were called by the sister of a hotel clerk who said she had seen al-Menhali with “multiple phones” and heard him “pledging allegiance to IS.”
WEWS-TV tweeted a recording of the clerk’s sister’s call to 911:
Reporters add that officers soon realised the accusation was false.
But the extreme police response to the call prompted the United Arab Emirates to warn its citizens to avoid wearing traditional garments when travelling abroad.
The meeting, held at Cleveland’s Council on American-Islamic Relations, was organised by Avon mayor Brian Jensen, who also added his regrets over the arrest.