On Crime and Policing, Delusion Reigns

I wrote here about the latest “police shooting” in Minneapolis, which took place on Wednesday night. Multiple police vehicles pulled over a young man named Dolal Idd, who was on probation for firearms violations, and officers told him to get out of his car. Instead, he tried to drive away. When blocked, he opened fire on the police and, it appears from video footage, narrowly missed one of them. The police returned fire and Idd was killed. You can see the whole thing at the link on a body cam video that has already been released.

Demonstrators gathered on the night of the incident and blocked off a street for several blocks while building a bonfire in the middle of the road. I am not aware of any riots over the last few nights, which most likely reflects the weather rather than any sensible evaluation of the incident by potential rioters.

On Friday, the Somali newspaper in the Twin Cities, Sahan Journal, published an article on Idd’s death that can fairly be described as delusional. It began with an incendiary account of the fact that some hours after the shooting, police officers executed a search warrant at the home of Idd’s parents. Presumably this had something to do with the cause of Idd’s apprehension, which has not yet been made public, although there have been references to a weapons investigation.

But that isn’t the worst of it. The Sahan account is willfully vague, if not misleading, on what happened Wednesday night:

The incident began when officers with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Community Engagement Team conducted a traffic stop involving Dolal at a Holiday gas station on E. 36th Street and Cedar Avenue S. in south Minneapolis. The police characterized the stop as part of a weapon’s [sic] investigation.

Dolal had some run-ins with the law, including traffic offenses, possession of a pistol without permit, and firing a gun in the basement of the his parent’s home.

The last paragraph amends the original version of the Sahan Journal article, which quoted Idd’s father to the fact that in the past, Dolal had only minor legal issues involving traffic violations. In fact, he was on probation for his 2018 weapons violations. At that time, his mother said that he was barred from their home because “he scares the children.”

Late Thursday afternoon, police released a 27-second clip of body cam footage captured at the scene. The officer wearing the body cam (who has yet to be named) identifies himself as a police officer and yells “hands up.”

With gun raised, he approached the white car Dolal was driving with a female passenger. The officer curses as what may be a gunshot goes off, and then starts firing. Other officers join in, sending a barrage of bullets into the car.

It was obviously a gunshot. Idd fired first, and the officers had no choice but to return fire. But if you are a Somali living in the Twin Cities, this basic fact is obscured. The Journal then quotes multiple sources who are critical of the police, including City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison:

“I’m frustrated that the police don’t seem to have any strategy to preserve life during a tense situation,” Ellison told Sahan Journal. “I’m concerned that any Black person with a gun seems especially vulnerable to being killed by police. And I’m troubled by the knee-jerk escalations our police have to any and all demonstrations against them.”

This is downright sinister. Ellison doesn’t offer a “strategy to preserve life” when a criminal suspect opens fire on police officers. I don’t think there is one. And Ellison’s observation that “any Black person with a gun seems especially vulnerable to being killed by police” is bizarre. That observation is true when the black person not only has a gun, but, as in this case, uses it to try to kill police officers. If a suspect does that, he can expect “knee-jerk escalation,” which evidently means he will be shot at by officers who probably are more skilled with firearms than he is.

Of course, we hear from the usual community activists, including unindicted co-conspirator CAIR:

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) has called for an investigation of the fatal police shooting of Dolal.

“We must see all the videos and we demand justice for Dolal Idd,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN. “We also are outraged after learning [of] the terrifying home raid that could have resulted in tragedy.”

I have no idea what “justice for Dolal Idd” might mean. Something other than police officers defending themselves, evidently.

Abdirahman Warsame, the co-founder of Generation Hope, a nonprofit organization formed by youth who’ve lost friends to drug overdoses, said he knew Dolal and was saddened by the loss of his friend. He acknowledged Dolal’s previous run-ins with the law, but noted that he was trying to change his life.

“For them to take him is just evil,” Abdirahman said of the Minneapolis police. “Who are you to take somebody else’s life, [when] they are trying to do better for themselves, to do better for their family?”

When a criminal suspects shoots at you, it is “evil” to shoot back? That actually is the narrative that the Left peddles. Maybe someone out there believes it. We live in strange times.

The killing of Dolal “makes me feel unsafe,” Abdirahman added. “It makes me feel confused. The same people that are here to serve and protect are the same people that are killing your own people.”

“Activists” would prefer that criminals run rampant in their own communities, committing crimes and perpetrating violence with no effort by law enforcement to combat them. This is why “activists” speak for few minority residents of the Twin Cities, or anywhere else.

The Dolal Idd case is a clear-cut instance of police acting in self-defense, protecting themselves against an armed criminal suspect who has opened fire on them. No sensible person, having watched the body cam video, would disagree. And yet, members of the local Somali community are being misled by outlets like the Sahan Journal, which pretends that the most significant aspect of the Idd case is the fact that police officers executed a search warrant, and pretends further that law enforcement is somehow to blame in Idd’s death.

Meanwhile, Branco drew this cartoon for Alpha News:

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