Police say a man accused of fatally stabbing a 17-year-old in the throat at an Arizona convenience store told them he felt threatened because the teen had been listening to rap music.
The incident occurred in Peoria, Arizona, near Phoenix, early Thursday.
Family members said the teen, Elijah Al-Amin, had gotten off of work about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday and had spent some time with his girlfriend before stopping at the store.
Police said a witness was trying to help Al-Amin by applying pressure to his neck when they arrived at 1:42 a.m. Police and fire personnel provided medical care and he was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m.
The witnesses told police that Al-Amin hadn’t done or said anything to provoke the attack. One said Adams didn’t say anything to the teen before stabbing him.
Police stopped Adams as he walked away from the store. He had blood on his left forearm, hand and foot, and officers found a pocket knife on him. He was taken into custody without incident.
Adams had been released from prison July 2, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Adams told a detective that he stabbed Al-Amin in the back and cut his throat, according to the statement.
He said Al-Amin didn’t do anything threatening but that the youth had been listening to rap music in his car in the parking lot, according to the statement.
“Adams stated rap music makes him feel unsafe, because in the past he has been attacked by people (Blacks, Hispanics, and Native American) who listen to rap music. Adams further stated, people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community,” the report said.
He told police that he felt threatened by the music, not by Al-Amin. Adams is white, and Al-Amin was black, white and Latino.
“Adams felt he needed to be ‘Proactive rather than reactive’ and protect himself and the community from the victim,” the documents said.
Adams has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and is being held at the Maricopa County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Jacie Cotterell, who represented Adams at an initial court appearance but is no longer his attorney, said Adams has a history of mental illness, according to KPHO/KTVK.
The Department of Corrections said Adams wasn’t designated as seriously mentally ill.
No public defender has been appointed.
I actually hesitated to write this blog basically because I am so tired of talking about racism and the black and the white. I’m so sick and tired of talking about hatred and bigotry and inequality because frankly my audience isn’t big enough for that. And there’s so many other platforms where I am fully aware that gets so much more attention than what I have to say on my little spot.
The only question that really matters in this blog, or this story is if it had been a white boy listening to rap music would he be dead? Would this white man have stabbed a white boy listening to rap music? And my answer is of course not. You and I both know that this was completely racially motivated. This was racially charged. And his attorney is saying that he does not deserve to go to prison, but that he should instead be in a mental institution. But this is why many people make a mockery of our justice system. Because he was just released July 2nd and two days after he had gotten out of prison, he struck again. How and why was he released?