Folks across social media are calling for justice after 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin was fatally stabbed by a deranged white male while visiting a Circle K in Peoria, Arizona.
Al-Amin was just two weeks away from turning 18, and had just gotten off work at Subway when 27-year-old Michael Adams walked up to him as he stood at the soda machine and slit his throat because he felt threatened by the rap music he was listening to in the parking lot outside.
Al-Amin was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Adams was arrested nearby and is currently being held on $1 million bail, per Complex.
The hashtag #JusticeforElijah is now trending as people demand for authorities to recognize Elijah’s death a hate crime.
Adams told authorities that he had been attacked in the past by people who listened to rap music, so he felt the need to be “proactive rather than reactive” by attacking Al-Amin before the teen could kill him, Fox 10 reported. He also said Al-Amin “did not do anything to threaten him.” Adams’ lawyer claimed he is mentally ill.
Adams served more than two years for aggravated assault and removing a theft-detection device. Days before his attack on Elijah, he was released from the Arizona State Prison Complex. His lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, describes her client as a disabled person who was “released into the world and left to fend for himself.” She said Adams was “set up for failure,” BET reported.
“They released him to the streets with no medication, no meds, with no way to care for himself. This is a failing of the Department of Corrections. This is easily foreseeable and that is an issue,” Cotterell said. “It’s too easy as a society to shake our head and say well, they committed a crime, it’s too bad, we have jails for that when really, what they need is treatment. They need a bed instead of a cell.”
But Al-Amin’s mother ain’t buying the excuses.
“There’s no excuse for this,” Serina Rides said. “There’s not at all, there’s no excuse. I don’t care that somebody’s hiding behind mental illness, there’s no excuse.”
Rides intends to seek justice for her son.
“I’m so numb and hurt to the core of my soul,” Rides said. “But I have to stay focused because I know that’s what he would want and to make sure justice is served for him.”