The first Somali person to become a police officer in Maine was arrested Saturday night for disrupting a concert and heads to court Wednesday to face multiple charges for her behavior.
The 24-year-old police officer, Zahra Munye Abu, was arrested Saturday night at Palladium Nightclub in Worcester, Mass., for assault and battery and was charged with three other counts of misdemeanor, according to the Portland Press Herald. Abu was bailed out of jail at 1 a.m. Sunday, but the bail amount has not been disclosed.
“She was (given) several opportunities to leave and refused. Eventually she was placed under arrest,” Worcester police Sgt. Kerry F. Hazelhurst said.
Abu, who previously served the city of Portland as an officer, has been put on paid administrative leave until the court resolves her case, according to Portland Police Chief, Michael Sauschuck. “The Portland Police Department was notified late Saturday night of the arrest of Police Officer Zahra Abu in Worcester, Massachusetts,” Sauschuck said, the Portland Press Herald reports.
“This issue will be dealt with as a personnel matter from this point forward, so I will have no further comment,” he added.
She will face charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. Authorities could also charge Abu with up to two and half years of prison time for assault and battery, but it is unlikely that she will received the full sentence. She appears in Worcester District Court Wednesday.
Abu’s warrants notice, as she is the first Somali immigrant in Maine to become a police officer in the state. “This is history for us,” the United Somali Women of Maine executive director, Fatuma Hussein, said in Jan. 2016 at the time of Abu’s appointment to the police force.
“There’s no question that we want to be as diverse as our communities, but we will only hire the best, and I do believe she is one of them,” Police Chief Sauschuck also said at the time of her appointment. “I hire good human beings and then we make police officers from them.”
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