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Medical student Jaspreet Singh, 21, was meeting his professor at the cafe and walked in listening to music on headphones before removing them and putting them in his bag.
The cafe was adjacent to Auckland City Hospital and the woman says she and her colleague were concerned about the possibility the wires were attached to, or part of, a potentially dangerous device.
Mr Singh was spoken to by police, who apologised after he showed them his headphones.
“The fact this gentleman wore a turban was not a contributing factor in my decision to call the police,” the woman says in a statement to ONE News.
I would report any incident that in my opinion threatened the safety of people regardless of their ethnicity.”
– Concerned woman
She says the police welcomed and supported her call, “assuring me of the validity of my decision” while reiterating that such calls are never a misuse of police time or resources.
“As a New Zealand citizen I would report any incident that in my opinion threatened the safety of people and property regardless of the ethnicity of the parties involved.”
And she says while Mr Singh sought no one to blame and “forgave” her, she does not feel any need to forgive herself for making the call and “would not hesitate” to do the same again.
“Aotearoa New Zealand, like every country on our globe, is not immune from any potential terrorism activities.”
Mr Singh says the incident occurred due to racial biases, ignorance and fear, but he did not blame the police for acting on a tip-off.
It was understandable that in the wake of the Paris attacks people were on edge, but society couldn’t let its fears get the better of it.