The first Somali police officer to serve in Maine’s largest city has resigned ahead of the completion of an investigation prompted by her arrest at a Massachusetts nightclub last winter.
On Sunday, Zahra Abu stepped down from the Portland Police Department before an internal affairs investigation into her arrest at a concert in Worcester could be completed, a city spokeswoman said.
In January, Worcester police charged Abu with assault and battery, among other crimes, following an alleged altercation at a hip-hop concert. She pleaded not guilty to those charges and had been on paid administrative leave pending completion of the Portland department’s investigation.
City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said that Abu resigned “voluntarily” but that no further information could be provided on the personnel matter. The resignation was first reported by the Portland Press Herald.
Abu was arrested during a concert featuring Ja Rule and Ashanti at the Palladium, a Worcester concert venue, according police in that city.
Abu was “acting unruly, pushed some people, was asked to leave numerous times, refused and was then subsequently placed under arrest,” a Worcester police officer said. There were no injuries.
In 2016, Abu made headlines as the first member of Maine’s Somali immigrant community to become a police officer in the state. She came to Portland with her family as an infant and graduated from Deering High School and the University of Southern Maine.
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