Update: According to a Facebook posting from the Fargo Police Department, Amber Hensley, who was filmed harassing three Somali women in a viral video, has personally apologized to the women she threatened.
From the police Chief David Todd:
“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.”
Todd also criticized social media for exacerbating divisions in communities. “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,” he said.
“Not everything is perfect in this resolution,” Todd added. “We have some ugliness in our community that needs to be addressed and worked on.”
Original story continues below:
A woman in Fargo, ND, has apologized after three Somali women filmed her launching death threats at them. Footage of the incident, which occurred in a Walmart parking lot, went viral on Wednesday morning.
In the video, Amber Hensley can be heard saying, “we’re going to kill all of ya’, We’re going to kill everyone of you fucking Muslims.” Hensley, a secretary at a local accounting agency before she was expectedly fired, was apparently upset that the Somali women had parked too close to her car.
KVRR spoke to the three women in the car, sisters Leyla and Sarah Hassan, and Rowda Sowan. Sarah told KVRR that Hensley initially requested they “fix” their parking, but it quickly escalated to insults and threats.
“She started talking about my sister’s eyes, because she has like, crossed eyes,” said Sarah Hassan. “I was like, why are you saying this stuff to my sister?”
“I’m about to have surgery for my eyes,” added Leyla.
“We were like, ‘is there any problem?’ She was like, ‘can’t you see her eyes?’,” said Sarah. “You are bad words and Muslims and we are going to kill you all. Actually, this kind of discrimination happens every single day to all people here.”
After asking Hensley if there was a problem, the women were shocked when she went a violent diatribe against Muslims. Hensley threatened to kill them “all,” then declared that she did not care if the women recorded her — claiming police would not be bothered by her verbal assault.
“Do you think the police care,” Hensley questioned. “Why are you in our country anyway?”
TJ Nelson, a reported for KVRR, was able to get in touch with Hensley on Facebook before she deactivated her account (presumably after the video of her threatening to kill people went viral). Hensley apologized and said that she regretted her comments.
“It was not a Christian like thing to do AT ALL and wish I could take it back, but I lost my cool and I can’t,” Hensley said. “I am terribly sorry. I am in tears with regret and will take any form of punishment deemed fit.”
Hensley’s version of events differs from the women who recorded the video. She claimed that they had called her a “a fat bitch” after she asked them to move their car (one of them women can be heard calling her fat in the video).
Local radio station KFGO confirmed that police were investigating the video; it’s unclear if they are classifying the incident as a hate crime.
Sarah Hassan shared a particularly grim, but unsurprising, assessment of the rising anti-Mulsim vitriol in her community. “It’s increasing day by day, especially after Donald Trump won,” she said. “I just want [Hensley] to change the way she thinks because we’re all human beings.”