The young activist Jama told MEE how even engaging with elders in the Somali community has not been enough to eradicate racism and prejudice. Like many of his peers, Ali, 20, who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. when he was 13 years old, went to his first protest after the release of the graphic video showing Floyd’s murder. Share. Police: Hell's Angel sparked Minneapolis riots over Floyd Police say a man captured on surveillance video breaking windows at a south Minneapolis auto … Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the United States, roughly 57,000 people according to the latest census figures, most of whom live in the Minneapolis area. The problem of anti-Blackness exists in the Somali community as well, with the older generation not identifying as Black. On Thursday, she dismissed the notion that he was an affirmative-action hire, saying: “This is about an individual officer’s actions. In December, the Minneapolis City Council voted to divert $43,000 from the Minneapolis Police Department to create a youth outreach team for the area, Minnesota Daily reports. The former Minneapolis police officer seen in a video with his knee on George Floyd's neck before the unarmed black man died this week was taken … It's our neighbourhood. From Sunday until noon Friday, the city had logged 55 complaints to its civil rights division, many expressing concern or anger about the shooting. Noor fired across his partner and through the driver’s side window, hitting Damond once in the abdomen. While made up mostly Black Americans, other minority groups and white people as well have joined the Minneapolis rallies, facing tear gas and other riot weapons used by the police. Police Chief Janee Harteau, who resigned Friday, criticized Noor’s actions but said he was well-trained. Mogadishu, the capital, suffers from frequent roadside bombings that kill hundreds of civilians each year. Bachmann also suggested Noor may have shot Damond for “cultural” reasons. He was the first Somali elected to a U.S. city council. The state has 52,333 people who report Somali ancestry — the largest concentration in America. *Some names in this story have been altered in order to protect the identity of the protesters. Within this dialogue, and the accompanying outrage and frustration, lies the Somali American community, which plays the unique role of being visibly Black and also Muslim. "Somalis are known for their bananas," Ali said, chuckling. But there have been troubles along the way, too. Jamaal Farah works as a barber at the Karmel Mall in Minneapolis. Minneapolis 571131702 Minneapolis riots have refugees thinking about unrest they fled. F or five days and nights following the death of George Floyd on May 25, the city of Minneapolis was the scene of riots, arson, and looting. It's heartbreaking," Ali told Middle East Eye. Damond, a white, 40-year-old spiritual teacher who was engaged to be married in August, was shot by Officer Noor as he sat in the passenger seat of a police vehicle. ISIS militants cling to last square mile of land in eastern Syria. Only England And Wales jurisdiction apply in all legal matters. Community, city and government leaders have worked to combat such violence, with programs including a pilot project designed to counter violent extremism by bolstering social services for Somali youth. Since May 26, 66 people have been shot in the city, comprising 45 percent of all shooting … Somalis began resettling in Minneapolis after securing jobs at meat-packaging plants, and have since opened businesses and established deep roots in the city. Ilhan Omar, the Somali-American congresswoman who represents the district where Floyd was killed, on Friday introduced a resolution alongside Black Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley condemning police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force by law enforcement. "It's not just the Arab community, I think a lot of us in the Muslim community period, and it's, this is just as relevant to Somali people," Ali said. "The murder of George Floyd in my district is not a one-off event.". Farhio Khalif, a Somali and women’s advocate, called Damond’s shooting “unacceptable” and said the incident has taken a toll on local Somalis. (City of Minneapolis via AP), Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. A two-mile stretch of … Somali immigrants are dispersed throughout Minnesota, but most live in Minneapolis … Somalis + Minnesota is made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. The area around the location where Floyd was killed includes many Somalis and their businesses. Nine people were shot in Minneapolis on Tuesday evening amid a spate of violence following the death of George Floyd, the Star Tribune reported.Shootings have risen sharply in the city over three weeks of unrest after Floyd, an African American man, was killed by Minneapolis police officers. A dedicated YouTuber, he joined a rally May 27 outside the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct with the intention of documenting it. Troy Kastigar, who went to high school in Minneapolis, posted a recruiting video in 2009, before he was killed fighting for the terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia. Ali said she was proud to see Somali businesses supporting the demonstrations, donating food and supplies to help protesters survive. 'If you want to be part of the revolution, we as Muslims have to sit down and understand that we have the problem too'. The city’s police chief said Officer Mohamed Noor’s race and ethnicity had nothing to do with the July 15 killing of Justine Damond, who was shot after she called 911 to report a possible rape. Donate now. The Somali community also is seeing its political influence grow. Young Somali Americans have come out to the demonstrations in droves, pouring out their anger and frustration with what they see as a broken criminal justice system. "I'm lost for words, I don't know what we're gonna do, how it's gonna work, but I feel that this is a revolution," she said. It's heartbreaking', - Khadija Ali, Somali American photographer. Somalis also serve on the Minneapolis and Mankato school boards. Being seen as both Black and Muslim, Minneapolis resident Haji Yussuf said, sometimes means facing multiple forms of discrimination. 'It came from a Muslim business who couldn't give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Long Her, a Laotian immigrant, has operated a clothing store in St. Paul since 1991. Still, many in the community said it was not enough, demanding that the other three officers on the scene also be charged. More than 22 young men from the community have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join militants in Syria, including the Islamic State group. Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv . They began coming to the US as early as the 1980s, but more emigrated in the 1990s to escape a civil war in Somalia. "And now, we are going through the same thing they're going through," she added. "We don't have these conversations about race.". ", "It's beautiful to see a lot of Somalis come out," Ali told MEE. But there have been troubles along the way, too. "I think because of what happened, a lot of people are looking to the Arab-Muslim population and saying, 'Hey, you know, you really do need to address these issues within our communities'," Ali said. MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Due to a lack of evidence, a pawn shop owner will not be charged in connection to a deadly shooting that happened amid the riots in Minneapolis … Ali herself has been out every night at the protests, documenting with her camera. "The war on drugs, mass criminalisation, and increasingly militarised police forces have led to the targeting, torture and murder of countless Americans, disproportionately black and brown. If you see one eating a banana, she said, there's a good chance it was donated by a Somali business. Jama said that Floyd's killing has opened a Pandora's box of difficult conversations communities must have, conversations that include how to finally deal with systemic and institutionalised oppression, criminal justice reform and police brutality. The Somali officers on the force are seen as community role models, and are among the success stories of the immigrants in Minnesota. He is also a popular Somali … Trump’s Minneapolis visit comes nearly three years after he singled out Somalis at a campaign rally at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in 2016, just two days before the election. "I think, because in Minneapolis, especially where it happened, that's pretty much where the majority of the Minnesota Somali population lives.". Noor, a Somali-American, has been identified by his attorney as the officer who fatally shot Justine Damond, of Australia, late Saturday, July 15, 2017, after she called 911 to report what she believed to be an active sexual assault. The store owner unequivocally condemned the killing and showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that his employee was simply following protocol as dictated by federal guidelines. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The killing of an unarmed Australian woman by a Minneapolis police officer who is a Somali-American has turned an unwelcome spotlight on the city’s beleaguered Somali community, where many again find themselves on the defensive. A CNN correspondent and members of his crew were arrested while broadcasting about violent protests in Minneapolis. Somalis are an ethnic group in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul (Twin Cities) urban area and makes up the largest Somali diasporas in the US.As of 2018, almost 103,000 people born in Somalia are living in Minnesota, and about 194,000 Minnesotans speak Somali, Amharic or a related language at home. "I think they are playing an integral role in this protest," she said. Multiple organised protests have taken place in recent days throughout Minneapolis, coupled with other angry spontaneous rallies. Still, most of the younger Somalis who grew up in the US have aligned themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement, especially after witnessing discrimination and racism at the hands of law enforcement, she said. He sees Black, and then when he hears the name, the racism is even more pronounced," said Yussuf, who ran for Congress before dropping out and endorsing eventual winner Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. CBS News "It came from a Muslim business who couldn't give this guy the benefit of the doubt. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. Black Muslims have long felt marginalised in communities predominantly made up of immigrant Muslims and white converts. Minneapolis has made an effort in recent years to hire more Somali officers to ensure the department “reflects the city,” and Hodges said that effort will continue. Race riots which started in the United States city of Minneapolis are spreading like wildfire across America. On Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that the ex-police officer who killed Floyd, Derrick Chauven, had been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Ali, the Somali-American photographer, said the area is "our community. "That whole neighbourhood is Somali businesses, stores, restaurants and all of that," said Anisa Mohamad, a member of the Somali community in Minneapolis. ... Just like in the Somali terrorist cases — this community is not a terrorist community.”. $18,461 raised of $20,000 goal. “This was completely different because of his ethnicity, and that’s what scares the hell out of us.”. In this May 2016 image provided by the City of Minneapolis, police officer Mohamed Noor poses for a photo at a community event welcoming him to the Minneapolis police force. "Out of all the police brutality situations that I have been involved in or was aware of, or have been alive to witness, I think this one hits very close to home because it did come from my community," said Khadija Ali, a Somali-American photographer and demonstrator. "Somalis are Black. 'I'm lost for words, I don't know what we're gonna do, how it's gonna work, but I feel that this is a revolution'. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by a police officer who kneeled onto his neck while arresting him for a nonviolent crime, outrage in the community of south Minneapolis has boiled over into the angry demonstrations seen this past week. But negative comments have included former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s recent statement that Noor was an “affirmative-action hire by the hijab-wearing mayor of Minneapolis” — an apparent reference to the fact that Mayor Betsy Hodges has worn a head scarf when meeting with leaders of the city’s Somali-American community. The immigrants have been coming to Minnesota from their war-torn homeland since the 1990s, drawn by generous social services and the sense of community among the diaspora. Minneapolis hosts a large Somali-American community, the biggest Somali diaspora group in the United States, according to the American Community survey in 2017. The killing has also caused some friction between the Black and Muslim communities, because Cup Foods, where a store employee called the police on Floyd to report a $20 counterfeit bill, is owned by a Muslim-Arab man. Body found in Minneapolis pawn shop that burned during riots July 20, 2020 GMT The body, apparently of a man, was discovered as investigators combed through the … Black and Latino shop keepers, already outraged by George Floyd's death, feel victimized again as city officials fail to stop looting and fires. © Middle East Eye 2020 - all rights reserved. “Everybody’s gotten to the point where, hey, you know, we don’t need more police, we need more intervention,” one organizer in attendance said. We come together and light the candle as Minnesotans and treating us as different is unfair. Her election followed that of Abdi Warsame to the Minneapolis City Council in 2013. ... It’s not about race or ethnicity.”. So, a white cop or a bad cop doesn't really see a difference. Police surveillance concerns US Muslims amid BLM protest crackdown, Landmark conference: 'People don't see Black Muslims as trailblazers. In this case, he noted, the union has been silent and the police chief spoke out against the officer’s actions. "They have pain that is different from ours, right? State funding was allocated to similar programs to help keep the community engaged. Through this multidimensional lens, the Somali community has also experienced anti-Blackness that is prevalent within the larger Muslim community. “What in the world is that supposed to mean?” he said. A Brainerd man has pleaded guilty to arson for his role in the fire at the Third Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department, in the riots following the death of George Floyd. "I can't take the pain for the Black African Americans who were born here," said local activist Asma Jama. "If we want to be part of that revolution, we as Muslims have to sit down and understand that we have the problem too.". Noor’s partner, who was in the driver’s seat, told investigators he was startled by a loud noise immediately before Damond approached the squad car. Somali mall, Walgreens burned in Minneapolis riots set for $40M redevelopment Apartments, office and retail would replace Somali mall, Walgreens on Lake Street site. Cloud last September, wounding 10 people before an off-duty police officer fatally shot him. After some audience members booed Somalis at President Trump’s rally in Minneapolis, local leaders have tried to assure refugees that they are welcome. Police reinforcements have arrived to control massive crowds, firing stun guns and tear gas at protesters. Ilhan Omar gained worldwide attention when she was elected to be the United States’ first Somali-American state legislator last November. Jama added that while she does not presently have expectations of proper criminal justice reform, she does hope that the demonstrations will bring about positive change for the Minneapolis community. But Mohamud Noor, a community advocate who is not related to the officer, said the shooting “has nothing to do with the Somali community, period.”, “It’s easy to target individuals who are from a small minority community and say, ‘See, I told you so,’ rather than focusing on the issue we have, which is a police issue.”. © Middle East Eye 2020 - all rights reserved. We are here to change that'. Minneapolis police have identified a suspect whom they believe helped initiate the riots and destruction in the city following the killing of George Floyd. Somalis began resettling in Minneapolis after securing jobs at meat-packaging plants, and have since opened businesses and established deep roots in the city. In November, nine men were sentenced on terror charges for plotting unsuccessfully to join the group and fight in Syria. "It's a fight that everybody has to look inside themselves and realise that what is happening now is a revolution," Jama said. Separately, a 20-year-old Somali-American went on a stabbing rampage at a shopping mall in St. They continued to protest. Somalis also serve on the Minneapolis and Mankato school boards. Several were characterized as derogatory, discriminatory or anti-Muslim. ... Siyad Farah, 90, was born in northern Somalia and grew up in Mogadishu. More than 22 young men from the community have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join militants in Syria, including the Islamic State group. She noted the large number of Somali Americans participating in the demonstrations alongside the African-American community. Still, many activists and community members have said the killing opened the door for a conversation about racism and anti-Blackness within the larger Muslim community. #BREAKING: A young black man has been stabbed at the violent riots unfolding in Minneapolis. At least one death threat was made against Noor. One viral video shows a Somali girl kicking back a tear gas canister thrown by police in riot gear. Only England And Wales jurisdiction apply in all legal matters. More Somalis live in Minnesota than any other state. Minnesota's governor said he will move to "fully mobilise the National Guard" after destructive Minneapolis-area protests that he says are "no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd." Minneapolis Riots Took Everything. “We are Minnesotans. Additional support comes from Knight Foundation, 3M, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. "From slavery to lynching to Jim Crow, Black people in this country have been brutalised and dehumanised for centuries," Omar said in a statement. Ali said that the community has since struggled with its identity, as many of the older generation are averse to being considered Black Americans. March 11, 2009 • Senior U.S. counterterrorism officials tell a Senate hearing that al-Shabab, an East Africa-based terrorist group, is working to recruit young Somalis from around Minneapolis. The George Floyd protests in Minneapolis–Saint Paul are a series of protests that began on May 26, 2020. Abdirizak Bihi, another community advocate, said when other officers have fatally shot people, city leaders have typically reserved judgment until all facts are in and the police union has stood up for the officers. Somali community, being both Muslim and Black, plays unique role within protest movement, Young Somali Americans have come out to demonstrations in droves, angry over broken criminal justice system (MEE), Arab-Black relations: Floyd tragedy highlights ties and tensions, 'Let my building burn': A powerful message to protesters in Minneapolis, Black pain is ours: Minneapolis Somali community rallies over Floyd killing. But at the end of the day, we have the same skin colour," she told MEE. Yussuf also runs a multilingual media company, through which he is documenting the ongoing protests. The identity of the immigrants in Minnesota than any other state organised have... Americans who were born here, '' Ali said, sometimes means facing multiple of. Control massive crowds, firing stun guns and tear gas at protesters immigrants! In recent days throughout Minneapolis, coupled with other angry spontaneous rallies works. 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