FORT SMITH, AR. — A couple wearing traditional Muslim attire was escorted out of Central Mall by Fort Smith police on Saturday (Dec. 19) after they were allegedly breaking mall policies by videotaping inside the mall.
Police said the couple, Alan Crawford and Daphne Ridenour, was breaking the mall’s code of conduct policy, which bans videoing inside the mall without approval from management, according to an incident report.
Police said that no crime was committed, so no charges have been filed.
However, Crawford and Ridenour said they were being racially profiled.
Crawford was walking down the hall by the food court, along with his wife and child, and using his phone to videotape stores, the report states. Several mall-goers reported him to police and mall security officers.
A mall security officer told Crawford about the code of conduct policy banning videoing without consent, but he appeared to continue videotaping, the report states. Afterward, security officers asked him to leave the mall.
After a discussion, police escorted the man to his vehicle.
“This is why you don’t trust the police,” Crawford told the child as he was leaving, the report states. “They harass people because of their religion.”
Mallgoers took pictures of the incident, such as this Facebook post that has been shared nearly 1,000 times, saying that the police were “escorting terrorists from the mall.”
Police said that there has been no confirmation of a planned terrorist attack at Central Mall.