Why did US police shoot UAE national?

An investigation has been launched into the death of an Emirati student who has been found dead in Ohio in the US. (Archives)

The United Arab Emirates has called the police killing of an Emirati man in Ohio a "painful incident" that the country's diplomats would investigate, just months after another citizen of the US-allied Arab nation was wrongly accused in Ohio of being an Islamic militant.

The shooting death on Sunday of Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri made front page news Wednesday in the UAE, a federation of seven sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. Online, stunned Emiratis shared a smiling black-and-white photo of the 26-year-old university student with the Arabic hashtag "Saif Nasser is in the hands of God."

Police in Hudson, Ohio, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Cleveland, say Alameri was speeding and driving erratically Sunday on the Ohio Turnpike when he sideswiped another vehicle, causing his car to flip onto the roof. They say Alameri fled the scene of the crash, forcing responding Hudson police officers and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to search for him in nearby woods.

A Hudson police officer fired shots at the man during a struggle, the city said. The officer was treated for minor injuries and has been placed on paid administrative leave. The officer hasn't been identified.

The Summit County medical examiner's office said Alameri was shot once in the head.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office, said investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is examining the shooting, will be meeting with representatives of the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said its officials would talk to local authorities.

"In light of this follow-up, and after details of the painful incident are clarified by the authorities, the ministry will issue a more comprehensive statement," undersecretary Mohammed Mer al-Raisi said late Tuesday in a statement.

The United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai, is a major U.S. ally in the region. American drones and aircraft involved in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria fly out of its air bases. The UAE also deployed forces to Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks by al-Qaeda.

But this is the second incident in months involving police officers near Cleveland and an Emirati citizen. In June, Emirati businessman Ahmed al-Menhali was detained at gunpoint by police in Avon, Ohio, while wearing a traditional white kandura, or ankle-length robe, and headscarf. His arrest came after the family of a hotel clerk wrongly told police that al-Menhali was pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The city of Avon later apologized to al-Menhali, who was briefly hospitalized after the incident. It also saw UAE authorities warn Emiratis traveling abroad to avoid wearing traditional garments.

This article is available in Arabic at AlArabiya.Net.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49