A Somali journalist, who had been covering a local terrorism-related trial in Minneapolis for more than a year, was prevented from entering a courtroom this week, while other reporters walked in freely.
In a series of tweets, Mukhtar Ibrahim of Minnesota Public Radio claimed the security personnel at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis, despite knowing who he is, treated him “differently” from other members of the press.
At the security checkpoint, when Ibrahim and another (white) reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune offered their bags for clearance, the black reporter was stopped while the other one was permitted inside.
I've been covering these cases since day one and this isn't the first time I'm being singled out. I sometimes go thro secondary screening.— Mukhtar Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare) May 9, 2016
Even when Ibrahim showed his badge to prove he was there to cover the trial, the officer asked him to wait outside with the rest of the public.
"They know who I am, they see me every day," he told City Pages. "I'm not a stranger coming to cover this case from the East Coast. I've been covering this case since day one. They know I'm a reporter."
Ibrahim was eventually let inside, along with other non-media observers, but the incident left him distressed.
"It messed up my mood the whole day," Ibrahim added. "I was just really frustrated. I didn't expect this."
Meanwhile, other journalists expressed solidarity with Ibrahim on social media, criticizing his treatment at the courthouse.
No matter what credentials you bring, racial profiling continues to prevail -- even in the halls of...justice(?).... https://t.co/w6FC8GdHFS— Mpls Urban League (@MplsUL) May 10, 2016