Sister of Muslim Teen Accused of Making Up Bias Attack Writes, Deletes Facebook Post

She blamed the media and the NYPD
By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
December 15, 2016 Updated: December 22, 2016

The sister of a Muslim woman who is accused of falsely reporting that three men taunted her aboard a New York City subway train—yelling “Donald Trump” and calling her a terrorist—slammed the New York Police Department and the media.

Police say 18-year-old Yasmin Seweid was arrested Wednesday on charges of filing a false report and obstructing governmental administration. It wasn’t clear if the Baruch College student had a lawyer.  Seweid first told police the incident happened on Dec. 1 as the train pulled into Grand Central Station. She claimed the men told her “you don’t belong here” and referred to her hijab as a “rag.” She also reported that one of the men grabbed her bag, breaking the strap, and another tried to take off her hijab, AP reported.

Police, however, told news outlets that she made it all up. “Nothing happened, and there was no victim,” a police source told the New York Daily News.

Police sources told the paper she made up the story because she didn’t want to get in trouble being out late drinking. They added that investigators spent a considerable amount of police time and resources trying to determine if she was the victim of a bias attack.

Her sister, Sara Seweid, said that the NYPD, by leaking information to media outlets about her arrest, doesn’t care about Muslim women, NBC NY reported.

“The NYPD doesn’t care about us or our safety. Never did,” she wrote. “You don’t think calling for an 18 year old girl to be jailed for lying to be violent and abhorrent?”

Her Facebook post remained up for around an hour before it was apparently deleted.

“I really think people who are concerned about how future hate crimes will be dealt with need to take a step back and think why Muslim [women of color] have felt the need to do this,” she wrote.

She later added that she’s not defending or “excusing what [her] sister did.” 

“The NYPD should have never been involved in the first place even if the incident did happen,” she wrote on her Facebook page, which features a “Deport Trump” image on her account. “It became super clear to me these past two week [sic] that the police’s first instinct is to doubt your story and try to disprove it.”

“Things snowballed out of our control because of the media because by the next morning the news had started publishing stories. Reporters made things so much worse for my family,” Seweid wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.