Small Business Tensions Are Rising

Local man arrested and charged with a “hate crime” sparks questions about legality 

Written by: Tony B.

On September 22nd, 2020, Hanif Collins, a prominent barbershop owner, at The Tonsor. Located in downtown Vancouver, WA., Hanif approached his small business, to open up shop, like he faithfully does every day. As he parked his car, he noticed a small LGBT protest of less than a dozen attendees, protesting against a Baptist Church on the same side of the street.

The Tonsor barbershop is located just a couple of doors north of the Baptist Church. As he walked up to the door of his business, he was confronted, by two men from the group of protesters. One of the men was armed with a gun, and both men attempted to block Hanif from entering into his place of business, several times. According to Hanif, “Each of them placed their hands on my physical person and then screamed, “that’s assault! You’re going to jail for that!” After Hanif had slapped their hands away.

When the Vancouver Police Department showed up to where Hanif was alleged, they broke up the altercation tried to ask questions, and find out what had been happening before they had eyes on the scene. Hanif says, he didn’t give a statement to the police, because voluntarily giving information can, and generally will, be used against you in a court of law. The cops went around to multiple witnesses who were in the area.

After cops finished gathering witness statements, they come back to Mr. Collins and told him he was under arrest for a felony Hate Crime against two middle-aged white men. Hanif says, this didn’t make much sense to him, as he is of Muslim faith, Black, and Latino.

Hanif was arrested at his own place of business, by VPD, and shortly after had to post $10,000 in bail money and get back to business, as is his lawful established Right. This has caused financial strain on him and his normal business operations. He expressed the frustration of creating his first two jobs ever and having to leave his apprentice alone, to barber hair unsupervised, while he was in county lockup.

Hanif has a Wife, a 5-year-old son, and a 7-month-old newborn. He says the stress has carried over to his family, as bailing him out, involved canceling his wife’s obligations. Hanif said, “This is absolutely racism, and police profiling + white privilege all tied into one”.

He also brings up another good point with this story. Small Business owners pay a higher premium in taxes for the municipal services afforded. Pending a hearing, Hanif is demanding all charges be dropped, by Clark County. No reports of a court date have been posted yet, but we will keep an eye on this story, as it develops.

From an opinion point of view, I think this was a terrible event, not only for Hanif Collins and his family – but also for Vancouver PD. When you look at the track record of VPD, you’ll notice a bent of insufficient training. I think of earlier this year, a homeless man, with mental health issues, was engaged in public aggravation. Reported, he was throwing rocks and had a wrench in his hand, at one point.

There were seven police officers, yet they shot him in the back, as he was moving too close to officers. Yeah, I see there’s some danger there, but observing the video, they could have literally bum-rushed him and arrested him, without lethal force. Cops from all around the county are scared of doing their job because it’s so politicized.

Not only do they have their hands tied by legislators and representatives of the executive, but now everything is opinionated and decided in the mob courts of social media. No wonder we have so many problems and divisions. Just remember, every culture is unique in some way, but it’s driven by Government, so who’s to blame those on all sides who want to see less of it?  – (to be continued)

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