Minneapolis: Protests Against Slaying of Unarmed White Woman by Somalian Cop Turn Violent

Charles Golenstein
New York Times
July 19, 2017

The latest in a string of black-on-white murders, Justine Damond was killed Saturday night by Somalian cop Mohamed Noor, sparking violent protests.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Demonstrations against the killing of an unarmed white woman in Minneapolis turned violent Tuesday night, as protesters attacked police, burned cars and looted a ski shop. A total of 43 arrests were made.

Justine Damond, 40, was shot dead by a police officer Saturday night after she made a call to 911 regarding a disturbance in the neighborhood. Monday night, it was revealed that the officer who responsible for the shooting was Somalian born African-American Mohamed Noor. Many in the white community saw this as yet another ugly incident in the ongoing black-on-white murder epidemic.

Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump commented on the issue, saying that he was “tired” of seeing whites “getting killed because of the color of their skin.” He also said that if he had a third daughter, “she would look like Justine Damond.”

Tuesday night saw around three-hundred peaceful protesters; however on Wednesday, nearly five-thousand almost exclusively white protesters showed up and things took a turn towards violence.

Around 2:00 PM local time, protesters began to gather in the center of the city carrying banners which read “White Lives Matter,” a slogan adopted by white Americans standing against ongoing black-on-white violence. Other signs simply read “27,” a reference to Federal crime statistics which show that a black person is 27 times more likely to attack a white than the other way around.

Although the population of Minneapolis remains mostly white, the police force, in stark contrast, is mainly made-up of affirmative action African-Americans. White anti-violence activists in the city have long demanded that white residents be policed by people who look like members of their community.

By mid-afternoon, protesters had begun breaking out the windows of shops and lighting various objects on fire in the center of streets.

White Lives Matter constructs a large fire in the street in protest.

Soon after, with an increased police presence, the protesters began agitating.

A white youth in a black mask and wearing a helmet was captured on video throwing a firebomb into a police car. From there, violence escalated rapidly.

At least 24 police officers were injured during the riots.

Police began spraying tear gas, but protesters simply moved to a different area, eventually breaking into Slippery Slopes Ski Gear and looting it. On their way out, they set the shop on fire.

The owner of Slippery Slopes, Obonju Jenkum, who is himself Somalian, told CNN Wednesday that he does not have insurance and his life has been destroyed.

He said he came to Minneapolis from Mogadishu to ply his trade in the lucrative Minnesota skiing market, but has been caught in the middle of a race war. While he said that he feels for the protesters, and understands their rage, he does not think their anger should be targeted at all Somalians.

“Obonju no kill her,” he told Wolf Blitzer. “Obonju no do nofing. Obonju Jenkum sell skis and skiing accessories. Now Obonju, he have nofing. Maybe Obonju Jenkum going back at Somalia, we no have killing here.”

Jenkum has set up a crowd-funding campaign for himself.

A total of 43 protesters were arrested last night, all of them white. At least 24 cops were reportedly injured during the violence.

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, has implemented a curfew, telling whites that violence is not the solution.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis Police Chief Allah Jongu told CNN that if whites start to gather on the streets, he will “defend the city with deadly force if necessary.”

Critics have claimed that more white bodies piled up on the street isn’t what Minneapolis needs. Instead, they say, it is time for healing, after so many whites have been killed at the hands of blacks.

White Lives Matter protesters on social media, using the hashtag #Justice4Justine, have vowed to defy the ban, despite the warning of live ammo.