Amber Hensley: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Facebook Amber Elizabeth Hensley.

A woman has been fired from her job after a video showing her verbally attacking a group of young Muslim women, threatening to “kill all of ya” in a Walmart parking lot in Fargo went viral this week.

Amber Elizabeth Hensley, 42, of Mapleton, North Dakota, confronted three women, 21-year-old Sarah Hassan, who was filming, her sister, Leyla Hassan, 20, and their friend, Rowda Soyan, 23, on Tuesday, July 25.

“I wanted everyone to see what happens to us every day,” Sarah Hassan told the West Fargo Pioneer. “I was so scared.”

Hensley and the three women have since reconciled, the Fargo Police Department says.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Video Shows Hensley Telling the Women ‘I’m an American’ & ‘We’re Going to Kill Every One of You F*cking Muslims’

The video shows brief clips of Amber Hensley confronting 21-year-old Sarah Hassan, her sister, Leyla Hassan, 20, and their friend, 23-year-old Rowda Soyan, in a Walmart parking lot.

In the first clip, Sarah Hassan can be heard calling Hensley a “racist person,” and saying “I’m not going back to my country.”

Hensley then tells her, “I’m an American, “I’m an American, you’re not,” while pointing at her.

In the next clip, Hensley is asked by Hassan, “what are you going to do? What are you going to do?,” to which Hensley responds, “We’re going to kill all of ya. We’re going to kill every one of you fucking Muslims.”

Hassan then says, “you’re fat, you can’t to anything.”

In the final clip, Hassan tells Hensley she is recording a video and is going to show it to the police.

“You think the police care?” Hensley leans in and asks Hassan. “Why are you in our country anyway? Why are you in our country?”

2. Hensley & the Hassan Sisters Met With the Help of the Fargo Police Department

Hensley with the Hassan sisters.

Amber Hensley met with Leyla and Sarah Hassan on Thursday to reconcile, the Fargo Police Department posted on Facebook. Chief David Todd shared a lengthy message on Facebook about the meeting:

The incident that happened at the Walmart parking lot and then went viral on social media shows we have some things to work on as a community and as individuals. The vast majority of us, if we look to the past of our grandparents, great grandparents or those before them – we identify with their heritage and have some pride in it. I, for example have a mother that came across the ocean in a boat from Sweden and my father’s family came from Ireland.

Others in our community have heritage that goes back to the Far East, Middle East or to Africa and have that same pride in holding on to pieces of their heritage. We are all a little different and that is okay, in fact it’s good – if we strive to understand each other, accept each other and respect each other. If we do that, our diversity can make us stronger as a community.

Unfortunately, incidents like what happened this week and the social media commentary following it can cause further division and set us back from progress we are trying to make as a community.
However, I want to put before you an example of what can be accomplished even though mistakes were made and unfortunate words were said. Amber Hensley, Sarah Hassan and Leyla Hassan have all expressed regret regarding their interaction and language with each other.

With an openness to reconciliation, these women have come together and talked through this incident and expressed their sincere regrets, apologies and most importantly – forgiveness to each other. This process has also allowed them to gain understanding and respect for each other.

Not everything is perfect in this resolution. We have some ugliness in our community that needs to be addressed and worked on. Social media shows us that… However, perhaps we can all take a lesson from what was an ugly unfortunate interaction and how even despite words being said that cannot be taken back, forgiveness and understanding can still be achieved.

I want to thank these women for allowing us to facilitate their interest in getting together in order to work through this for the betterment of themselves and our community.

Sarah Hassan, the woman who filmed the incident, previously told the Pioneer Press she was willing to sit down with Amber Hensley.

“Of course, everybody makes mistakes, you know,” Sarah Hassan told the newspaper. “If she said ‘sorry,’ of course, we’re going to accept her. And maybe she had a bad day. We don’t want to increase the problem. People are following her now and saying mean stuff to her, too. Whatever happens, she’s a human being in the end.”

The Minnesota chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, invited Hensley to meet with members of the local North Dakota and Minnesota Muslim community, according to a press release.

“We would be pleased to arrange a meeting with wonderful members of the North Dakota Muslim community to help educate this individual about Islam and about the American values of religious tolerance and inclusion,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Amir Malik said in a statement.

According to CAIR, the incident is the latest in a string of hate crimes against Muslims in the Fargo-Moorhead area. In early July, a Somali-American man was assaulted by two men while moving into a Moorhead apartment, according to CAIR. They have asked police to investigate the assault, which led to the arrests of two men, as a hate crime.

“In March, CAIR-MN called on law enforcement authorities to reconsider bringing criminal charges against a man who allegedly harassed a Muslim woman shopper in Moorhead, Minn., because of her Islamic attire (hijab),” CAIR said in the press release.

Concordia College professor Dawn Duncan, who leads a group called Narrative 4, which is focued on bringing Fargo-area natives and immigrants together, told Valley News Live she reached out to Hensley.

“This is a horrific day for her,” Duncan told the news site, adding that her firing was “extreme.”

Duncan said she is also hoping to bring the women and members of the community together.

“If she (Hensley) genuinely wants to make amends for that, and if they (the Somali-American women) genuinely admit that they were wrong too, then why can’t we make that happen,” Duncan said. “Let’s tone down the heat, cool off and let’s bring some humanity and caring and empathy in this community between people.”

3. She Posted an Apology on Facebook & Says She Lost Her Cool

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Hensley posted this apology before deleting her Facebook page.

Hensley posted an apology on her now-deleted Facebook page after the incident, but Hensley also put some of the blame on the women, saying that they called her fat and insulted Jesus. You can see her statement below:

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Amber Elizabeth Hensley.

“I would first like to apologize for the horrible things that I said to the two ladies at Walmart. It was not a Christian like thing to do AT ALL and wish I could take it back, but I lost my cool and I can’t,” she wrote. “I am terribly sorry. I just wish that the whole video could be shown. And the things that were stated before she starts taping.”

Sarah Hassan has said that she was recording the videos with Snapchat, and that is why there are only short clips of the incident.

“She had parked way too close to my car and I couldn’t get in, when I asked her to move she refused, I asked her again and she swore at me, calling me a fat bitch, to that I informed her that I was a Christian and asked her if she knew who jesus was, she said fuck Jesus and I lost it!” Hensley wrote on Facebook. “But there are absolutely no excuses. I am in tears with regret and will take any form of punishment deemed fit..”

Hassan told the Pioneer Press she did call Hensley fat, but denied insulting Jesus, saying that he is considered a prophet in the Muslim religion.

“We Muslims, we believe in Jesus, too,” she told the newspaper. “If I abuse Jesus it’s like I’m abusing my own god and I not going to be considered a Muslim.”

Hassan also said Hensley insulted her sister, who has misaligned eyes, saying that might have been the reason for the poor parking job, according to the Pioneer Press. Hassan said her sister apologized for parking too close and tried to pull out of the spot to avoid any confusion, but Hensley was in her way and she didn’t want to run over her toes.

“I don’t even know what to say to people when they start abusing me,” Hassan told the newspaper.

4. Hensley, a Secretary Who Posted About Her Support of Trump & Hatred for Hillary on Twitter, Was Fired by a Fargo Accounting Firm

amber hensley

Amber Hensley.

Hensley has been fired from her job as a secretary at a Fargo accounting firm, Horab & Wentz, after the video went viral. Some on social media had claimed she was a certified public accountant, but the firm says that is not the case.

“Horab & Wentz does not agree with or support the statements expressed by Amber Hensley in the recently posted video. She does not represent or reflect the views of Horab & Wentz,” the firm said in a statement. “Ms. Hensley is no longer employed with Horab & Wentz effective immediately. Amber was employed as a secretary and was not a CPA.”

An employee of the firm told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Our phone has been ringing this morning hundreds of times. It’s ringing right now. We’re the ones getting the brunt of this. No one else is.”

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Hensley says on her Twitter page she is a “Wife, mother, Secretary for a CPA Firm.” In October 2016, she expressed her support for President Donald Trump’s campaign, and her dislike of Hillary Clinton:

Amber Hassan told the Pioneer Press that Hensley pointed to a Trump sticker on her bumper during the incident and told her Muslims would be deported.

“The way she was staring at me — that was really scary,” Hassan told the newspaper. “That’s why we had to call the police and tell them about everything.”

Rowda Soyan, who was also in the car, said she has heard more insults since Trump became president.

“It just started with the election and whatever’s going on,” Soyan told the Pioneer Press.

Hassan said she and her family, and other local Somali-Americans, fled from their home country because of the threat of al-Shabab, a terror organization.

5. The Fargo Police Department Was Investigating the Incident

amber hensley

Amber Hensley.

The Fargo Police Department has said it is investigating the incident. According to Valley News Live, police have interviewed Hensley and Sarah Hassan, who filed a police report.

Hassan told the West Fargo Pioneer that they called police while at the scene and took down Hensley’s license plate number.

Police have not commented further about the incident, including what charges, if any, could be filed against Hensley. It is not clear if the meeting between Hensley and the Hassans has led to the end of the investigation.