by William P. Muhammad
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 policy-makers, 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 Police Chief, honoring his
conduct in capturing an armed robbery suspect of the Captain Jay’s Fish &
Chicken restaurant on the city’s southeast side.
Bro. Suni X, Grand Rapids Study Group
In recognition of Bro. Suni’s part in apprehending a much sought after perpetrator, suspected in multiple robbery attempts in and around the city, GRPD 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.
“I don’t know if I would call it heroic,” Bro. Suni said. “I just did it because I thought it was the right thing to do because I refuse to be intimidated where I work and where I live. Minister Farrakhan said he wanted 10,000 fearless. For Allah we live and for Allah we die. We cannot sit back and let criminals come in and rob our establishments and tear down our neighborhoods. We’ve got to take a stand,” Bro Suni said.
The General Manager of Captain Jay’s Fish & Chicken restaurant, affectionately known in the community as Ms. Omar, said she advises against anyone confronting armed suspects, and while she could not comment directly on the July, 6 incident, she said Bro. Suni was a beautiful and phenomenal human being who she also sees as an upright and outstanding individual.
Regarding duty to one’s community and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s instructions on taking the responsibility to improve quality of life issues in Black neighborhoods, Student Minister Marcus Muhammad, Coordinator of the Grand Rapids Study Group said: “The Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as taught by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, teaches us that we are to obey the laws of this land unless they conflict with our religion which is Islam; we are also are to obey the Restrictive Laws of Islam, which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said would make us the best citizens or the best residents in whatever community that we may reside in. The behavior and the remarkable work that Bro. Suni exemplified, in that citizen’s arrest, is only a great testament to his faith, to his courage, and to his obedience to the instructions of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in which he said, ‘to make our neighborhoods decent and safe places to live.’”
According to the Grand Rapids Police Department Chief’s Citation, in appreciation of Bro. Suni’s actions, the suspect not only confessed to the attempted robbery, but he also confessed to additional attempted robberies in the area for which he was being sought.