Wichita police apologize for detaining Muslim family

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Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay issued a written statement Wednesday night, after days of questions over officers who detained a Muslim family while investigating a claim of check fraud.

Ramsay said in the release, “Even though WPD Officers followed policy, we feel bad for what happened in the course of the investigation. When unfortunate situations such as this one arise, it creates an opportunity for dialogue between the police and the community. That dialogue can help us improve.” He confirmed that officers had apologized to the family of Sattar Ali, who was taken in for questioning on an investigation of check fraud, before being promptly released.

It happened last week at an Emprise Bank in Wichita. Sattar Ali attempted to deposit a check worth $151,000 after selling his home in Michigan and moving to complete an education program at Wichita State University. Police said in a statement Wednesday that they were called by a teller who believed the check was a fraud. They say the routing number and address didn’t match and that there were certain security documents missing. Ali denied that, however.

"I went to the bank to deposit the check and I took all of the documents with me to verify," Ali told KAKE News last week.

When police arrived they took the entire family into custody for further questioning. After investigating the check further, they realized it was authentic and released the Alis. But Sattar Ali said he can’t help but wonder if his family was targeted because they were Muslim.

A bank spokesperson insisted they were simply following procedures.

In a statement from Muslim Advocates, representing the Ali family, a spokeswoman wrote, “The Ali family sincerely appreciates the words of apology and regret they have received from Emprise Bank and local law enforcement officials.  They have not, however, been provided with any satisfactory explanation for why this incident occurred in the first place.”

The statement went on to read that the family is considering any and all legal options.

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