MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s governor ordered the state to take back a license plate he called offensive on Monday. The plate had the letter ‘F’ before an apparent abbreviation for ‘Muslims.’
Someone got it last June. The Department of Public Safety said on Monday it never should have issued the plate and apologized. The owner surrendered the plates Monday afternoon.
“We saw this image on our road and it’s offensive. We are angry, and we just don’t know what to do,” Haju Yusef said.
A friend sent Yusef the picture of a truck with the personalized license plate driving down a main street in St. Cloud. He first posted the image to Facebook over the weekend.
“That is F word and everybody knows what the F word means,” Yusef said.
People shared the image.
“Most of the shares were very positive, and people were angry, asking questions. How did this happen? How did this go through the DMV without anybody paying attention to it?” Yusef said.
The information reached the Governor’s Office and DPS. DPS apologized saying the plates never should have been issued last June. The application for the plates was reviewed by the Department of Vehicle Services.
“It’s human to error, maybe the person had a bad day, the person who issued that license. Maybe they were not paying attention, it’s their job, I understand, but they’re human,” Yusef said.
“I am appalled that this license plate was issued by the State of Minnesota. It is offensive, and the person who requested it should be ashamed. That prejudice has no place in Minnesota,” Governor Mark Dayton said.
Yusef does not believe the person who ordered the plates represents the state of Minnesota.
“It doesn’t matter that one guy did that, what matters is a community came together at this moment,” Yusef said.
Dayton wants DPS to review its procedures so this doesn’t happen again.
To get a personalized license plate, you must write down on the application what the letters stand for. WCCO asked DPS what the explanation was at the time the plates were requested, but they did not provide that information Monday night.