George Mason University officials announced Wednesday afternoon that all charges had been dropped against Abdirashid Dahir, the senior who was arrested and charged with abduction after allegedly locking a female student in a library study room.
GMU officials also said they would launch an external investigation of how their police department handled the incident, including a gap of several hours between the library incident and Dahir’s arrest in his residence hall.
Dahir said he placed his belongings in a study space the afternoon of March 8 and went off to get his laptop charger; he returned to find a female student in the study room. They argued; neither would budge. By the time campus police arrived, she claimed he had locked her inside the room. Dahir said she’d made the story up.
Campus police arrested Dahir later and charged him with abduction, a felony charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction. A massive online campaign sought to clear his name and to investigate the methods of the university police.
Dahir, reached by phone, said he could not comment.
In a release, the university said: “Thousands voiced their concern for the students at the center of this event during the past week. While this has been a difficult experience, the university is proud of its diverse and engaged students and alumni, who chose to speak out and get involved.”
The university said that taking the incident out of the courts would allow its own judicial affairs office to handle it as an internal investigation.
Much of the upset focused on Dahir’s status as a Somali immigrant. He said the unidentified female student voiced dislike of immigrants and said she was going to get him in trouble.