Terror panic: This time it strikes a Fort Smith mall | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Terror panic: This time it strikes a Fort Smith mall

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 12:24 PM

Add a Fort Smith mall to the unfounded-fear-of-terrorism list.

Last week, it was Magnolia, where the sight of somebody taking a photo of an elementary school grew into unfounded rumors of Muslim purchases of multiple assault rifles from a gun shop.

Now, the story is the use of a contingent of cops for removal of a Muslim couple from the Central Mall in Fort Smith. Their offense: Making video recordings without permission of the mall owner. This is not a crime, but they were escorted from the premises. Other onlookers made their own cell phone records of the event, including one that was posted on Facebook with this caption: "Cops escorting terrorists from the mall." From The Blaze.

Alan Crawford, along with his wife, Daphne Crawford, and their child were walking through Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas, using his phone to record video in the mall when a number of bystanders reported them to police and mall security.

Mall security approached the couple and told them they weren’t allowed to record. Alan Crawford said that he didn’t see a sign prohibiting the activity, but a police report stated that recording inside the mall without prior approval from management is against the mall’s code of conduct policy, KFSM-TV reported.

“What crime I committed, I don’t know,” Alan Crawford said. “I wasn’t aware that police officers show up five at a time to enforce mall law.”

Alan Crawford said he continued recording audio, but not video, while the officer told Crawford that he could confiscate his phone. That’s when mall security asked him to leave and escorted him to his car.

“This is why you don’t trust the police,” Crawford reportedly told his child as the family walked out. “They harass people because of their religion.”

“If you want me to leave, I will leave happily,” he added.

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