Society

Woman Says New York City Police Questioned Her For Wearing Arabic T-Shirt

| by Michael Allen
Miru Kim.Miru Kim.

Miru Kim claims she was stopped by police in New York City on Sept. 23 while walking her dog near the 9/11 Memorial and wearing a T-shirt with Arabic writing and the English words: "We Will Not Be Silent."

Kim posted a picture of herself wearing the shirt on Instagram, and noted that the garment is "from an anti-Iraq war group called Granny Peace Brigade from 2006."

Kim recalled that she and her dog were about to enter her apartment building when two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers told her to come back out on the street.

"I thought maybe it was the dog," Kim told the Gothamist. "But they were just pointing to my shirt with an Arabic sentence on it."

Kim added that the officer who questioned her was "quite intimidating" and wanted to know what her T-shirt said.

"I told him it was an old T-shirt from a protest group," Kim said. "That got him going even more, and I had to explain that it was from an anti-Iraq War group from a long time ago. Like, 10 years ago."

Kim wrote on Instagram: "They took all my info, address, apt. number, cellphone, right in front of my building. Are they serious, NYPD? Are they gonna call me a potential terrorist because I am wearing a shirt with Arabic on it? When did NYC become so xenophobic?"

Kim's t-shirt was created by We Will Not Be Silent, an artist/activist organization in New York. She reportedly got it from a former employer at a political media company.

"I thought it was kind of annoying getting all of my information taken down by police," Kim said. "I didn't ask why. I didn't really say anything. I basically just complied and explained that it's just a shirt from a long time ago."

"No New Yorker should be targeted for a police stop or interrogation because they are wearing a T-shirt with Arabic writing on it," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, added to Gothamist.

We Will Not Be Silent artist/activist Sarah Wellington voiced her support for Kim as well.

NYPD has not issued any comments about the incident.

Sources: Gothamist, Instagram / Photo credit: Miru Kim/Instagram