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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—When the deeds of Muslims are discussed among the American public, positive activities are rarely acknowledged and negative connotations, often amplified through the rhetoric of policymakers, mass media, and the general population, cause many to judge the faith with doubt and suspicion.
However, in recognition of his quick thinking and actions, Bro. Suni X (Musawwir) of the Nation of Islam, received a Citation of Appreciation from the Grand Rapids Police Department honoring his conduct in capturing an armed robbery suspect of the Captain Jay’s Fish & Chicken restaurant on the city’s Southeast Side.
In recognition of Bro. Suni’s part in apprehending a much sought after perpetrator, suspected in multiple robbery attempts in and around the city, Grand Rapids Chief, David Rahinsky wrote: “Your quick actions aided the Grand Rapids Police Department in solving several attempted armed robberies of businesses, while certainly preventing further attempted robberies by the suspect,” the chief’s citation read in part. “I would like to thank and commend you for being an involved citizen in your community.”
Although the incident occurred in July 2016, it wasn’t until late January of this year that Bro. Suni received a call from the Grand Rapids Police Department notifying him of the award. Downplaying the significance of his part in taking down the alleged suspect, it wasn’t until about three weeks after receiving the citation that he told the Believers and Student Laborers of the Grand Rapids Study Group.
“I was in my van at the time and listening to music and a Caucasian individual walked out (of the restaurant), casually, and as he proceeded South, I noticed he was looking around and I thought he was afraid because he was walking in a Black neighborhood, but when he got down the block, the manager and others came out hollering and screaming, ‘we’ve been robbed; it was a White guy,’” Bro. Suni recalled the restaurant employees as saying.
After a brief foot chase, Bro. Suni tackled the perpetrator and a neighborhood resident, watching from his front porch, helped to pin him to the ground, holding the alleged robber in place until authorities arrived. Although Bro. Suni said the restaurant employees told him the man was armed, Bro. Suni said he wasn’t thinking of him as having a weapon as much as he was thinking of stopping a criminal act in his community.