Woman in Fargo confrontation loses job

[This post has been updated to include details on a reconciliation]

The woman who was filmed in a tirade against three Somali women in a Fargo parking lot is going to be fired from her accounting job, the Fargo Forum reports.

“Our phone has been ringing this morning hundreds of times. It’s ringing right now,” a man who identified himself as a partner at Horab & Wentz tells reporter Tu-Uyen Tran. “We’re the ones getting the brunt of this. No one else is.”

The woman reportedly was upset that the three Somali women parked so close to her that she couldn’t get in.

They tell WDAY the woman’s request to move started off badly and only got worse:

When Hensley came out of the store and found the car parked too close to hers, she mocked Leyla Hassan’s misaligned eyes, saying they were obviously the reason for the bad parking job, according to Sarah Hassan, who tried to defend her sister by demanding to know what Hensley was getting at. It’s a sore topic, Sarah Hassan said, because her sister needs surgery but insurance won’t cover it.

Leyla Hassan said she apologized to Hensley for parking too close and tried to pull out to avoid confrontation. But she said she couldn’t because Hensley got so close she worried she’d run over the woman’s toes.

In the meantime, the confrontation between Hensley and Sarah Hassan was heating up.

Hassan said Hensley pointed to a Donald-Trump campaign sticker on her car and told the Muslim women he would deport them. Hensley also told them that Muslims were all going to hell, Hassan said, and had made the threat about killing Muslims at least once before she started recording.

“The way she was staring at me — that was really scary,” Hassan said. “That’s why we had to call the police and tell them about everything.”

Sarah Hassan denied anyone mocked Jesus in the confrontation. “We Muslims, we believe in Jesus, too,” she told WDAY. “If I abuse Jesus it’s like I’m abusing my own god and I not going to be considered a Muslim.”

[Update 9 pm 7/27]- The police chief of Fargo has engineered a reconciliation and made the following post on Facebook. BTW, someone should start a GoFundMe effort to raise money for the young woman to get the eye surgery she says she needs.

**** Message from the Chief ****
The incident that happened at the Walmart parking lot and then went viral on social media shows we have some things to work on as a community and as individuals. The vast majority of us, if we look to the past of our grandparents, great grandparents or those before them – we identify with their heritage and have some pride in it. I, for example have a mother that came across the ocean in a boat from Sweden and my father’s family came from Ireland.

Others in our community have heritage that goes back to the Far East, Middle East or to Africa and have that same pride in holding on to pieces of their heritage. We are all a little different and that is okay, in fact it’s good – if we strive to understand each other, accept each other and respect each other. If we do that, our diversity can make us stronger as a community.

Unfortunately, incidents like what happened this week and the social media commentary following it can cause further division and set us back from progress we are trying to make as a community.

However, I want to put before you an example of what can be accomplished even though mistakes were made and unfortunate words were said. Amber Hensley, Sarah Hassan and Leyla Hassan have all expressed regret regarding their interaction and language with each other.

With an openness to reconciliation, these women have come together and talked through this incident and expressed their sincere regrets, apologies and most importantly – forgiveness to each other. This process has also allowed them to gain understanding and respect for each other.

Not everything is perfect in this resolution. We have some ugliness in our community that needs to be addressed and worked on. Social media shows us that… However, perhaps we can all take a lesson from what was an ugly unfortunate interaction and how even despite words being said that cannot be taken back, forgiveness and understanding can still be achieved.

I want to thank these women for allowing us to facilitate their interest in getting together in order to work through this for the betterment of themselves and our community.

Chief David Todd