Dec 29, 2015
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Shah Noor, a recent transplant to California from Maryland, was driving through a nearby community one evening with his wife and stopped at a 7-Eleven to get some milk. A police car pulled up with lights flashing. Officers walked to their car and grilled them for 45 minutes. They were aggressive, he said, and asked what they were doing there, where they work. At one point, he saw the officer put his hand on his gun. “It was scary,” Noor said. “Pure harassment.” Police — Noor declined to identify the agency because of an ongoing investigation — cited him for talking on his cellphone while driving. He said the charge is bogus. “My phone had been dead for over three hours,” said Noor, 32, a lawyer who now runs JS Noor, a jewelry business. And the log on his wife’s cellphone shows no activity during that time. He’s convinced that racial profiling was in play. He wears a turban and has a beard. His wife, Stephanie, is African-American. And all of this happened within days of a mass shooting in San Bernardino carried out by a Muslim couple. After every attack on U.S. soil committed by Muslims, the backlash seems to increase. But hate crimes don’t target only Muslims. Noor is originally from India and is a Sikh, not an Arab or Muslim.