A Muslim woman who sought police assistance for her family on Thanksgiving weekend explained on Facebook what happened when Gwinnett County, Georgia, officers showed up on the scene.
Another motorist rear-ended the family’s vehicle, prompting a call for assistance. According to the Facebook post, Georgia resident Zanub Rizvi was traveling with her young daughter and mother-in-law at the time of the accident.
This Facebook message, which has since gone viral, appears to be particularly timely, given that racially charged police misconduct or alleged misconduct across the country has been in the headlines for more than year.
The interaction in Gwinnett County following the car accident was an entirely different matter and culminated in a positive outcome.
Law enforcement authorities in Gwinnett County have yet to respond to a request by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for a comment about the encounter with the Muslim family.
In her Facebook essay, Zanub Rizvi described what happened on November 29.
“Today I got rear-ended while trying to make a left turn… All the cops and paramedics who responded were white males. Me, my daughter, and my mother-in-law were on our way to a religious gathering. I was in a Pakistani suit, and my MIL in full Islamic headscarf. It’s obvious we are a Muslim family. First cop to arrive asks if we are ok, and I tell him my MIL has neck pain. I open the car door and he sees my MIL in hijab. He says ‘I don’t want to be disrespectful, Ma’am is it OK if I check your neck? (Turning to me) I don’t want to be disrespectful.’ He was so worried he might offend us. I translate for my MIL and she lifts her scarf so that the cop can check her neck. The paramedics that arrived several minutes later were equally gentle. I was pleasantly surprised with the cultural sensitivity and courtesy shown by everyone, especially being in the Deep South. Just thought that with all the hate being spread in the news, I’d share something nice.”
Fortunately, the family was not harmed in the rear-end collision in Gwinnett County.
It’s unclear as to why the first responders, however, were specifically identified as white males rather than just first responders, as one of the commenters underneath the story on the AJC website observed.
Among the many other comments of various kinds prompted by the story included this one.
“As an African-American female, I, too, can attest to the professionalism of the Gwinnett County Police. They responded to my home because of the security system’s false alarms. They were prompt, courteous and assured me if I needed them they would respond. They were also white males. I have made certain to point out my experience whenever a negative comment is made regarding the police…”
Along these general lines, Tucson resident Steven Hidreth Jr. took to Facebook in early November to document a positive encounter with local cops during a routine traffic stop. Greg Barnes Jr. similarly wrote about his polite exchange with a police officer who pulled him over for speeding in Indiana.
The latest controversy over police misconduct leading to the use of deadly force is the fatal shooting of Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald. The officer in question now faces a charge of first-degree murder. It also resulted in the city’s police chief getting fired, while community activists are calling for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez over the way the investigation was handled or mishandled.
Gwinnett County is located 30 miles northeast of Atlanta and is said to be one of the fastest-growing areas of the U.S.
[Photos via Zanub Rizvi/Facebook]