Hate, not rap music or mental illness, likely led Michael Adams to kill Elijah Al-Amin.
In 2012, 17-year-old Jordan Davis was gunned down by 45-year-old software developer Michael Dunn. His crime? Being black and playing his music too loud.
Though the mainstream news was aghast at this heinous act of hate, and rightfully so, many could readily point to similar incidents in their own locales that got no news, and where the murderer went unpunished.
Though lynching is often used when tallying the total cost of Black life at the hands of interpersonal racism, seldom are incidents like these, and the shootings of unarmed African-Americans by police and their proxies, ever added to that toll.
However, a lynching, is a lynching, is a lynching; whether state-sanctioned, prosecuted or thrown out of court.
Last week, 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin was minding his own business when 27-year-old Michael Adams, an ex-con and grown ass man, slit his throat while Al-Amin was getting something from a Circle K in Peoria, Arizona.
Adams later told police he killed Al-Amin because the rap music in his vehicle made him feel unsafe. That is the go-to line of defense for most white supremacist murderers, be they police officers or otherwise. George Zimmerman said he feared for his life as well, as did Michael Dunn, but Zimmerman got off with killing innocent black teen Trayvon Martin.
Dunn is now serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Adams had just been released from Arizona State Prison two days before killing Al-Amin.
Another repeat of Jordan Davis who was killed for playing his music in his car too loud and wouldn’t turn it down. This is so outrageous!!!! Rest in power Elijah Al-Amin. #JusticeForElijah https://t.co/pZaA7Ft86b
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) July 7, 2019
His lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, is playing the victim card, claiming Adams was set up for failure by a system that didn’t give him access to mental health services following his release.
While I’m not sure about the mental health system in Arizona, I do know that it’s very likely that Adams was indoctrinated to white supremacist ideology while incarcerated.
Most notable among said groups are the Arizona Aryan Brotherhood, which has nearly 400 members according to the Arizona Correctional Department.
Adams’ lawyer went on to state that she felt he shouldn’t have been in jail in the first place. However, one can clearly see how that narrative is meant to muddy the facts. The facts are he carried a weapon, used that weapon to kill a black kid, and later said rap music made him fear for his life.
The Arizona Department of Corrections, however, released a statement saying Adams “was not designated seriously mentally ill”.
Would the mental health status of a black person who murdered a white teen in a similar crime ever be given such play? Black Twitter says no, as do we. #JusticeforElijah