An open letter to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo , Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Rep. Ilhan Omar: What happened at MOA in April, WILL happen again in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, without some new major safety initiatives in place!!!!
(above photo credit, me. the relevance of it, will be apparent in blog)
Important Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, or in matters of law enforcement and public safety, if you, someone you know or observe is in medical or mental health distress, please contact 911, immediately.
While I believe in above disclaimers wholeheartedly , it kind of failed on Sunday night.
So this last Sunday night, I’m waiting outside in front of my apartment building at 5th Avenue and 8th street, for my boyfriend to pick me up, as we had a dinner date planned at Outback in Roseville and he was on his way back after going up north for the holiday weekend.
I live 2 blocks away from HCMC and 4 blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium.
I’d been waiting awhile, my boyfriend had hit traffic as he was coming back from a trip up north and so I made some conversation with my neighbors until they went back into our apartment building.
About 7:25 pm , I notice across the street at the Centre Village building, a man yelling, he crosses 5th Avenue between the stoplights at 8th and 7th approaches me, screaming as he slams his jacket that he’s holding in his hand on the sidewalk, a foot away and says “I’m going to fucking blow up this building.”
Then he proceeds to continue screaming at me how he hates white people and ever since 9/11, Somalis like him can’t get a job, can’t get a date and that it’s all my fault.
I’m smoking a cigarette and quietly am listening to him, I told him that I do understand him, that the City of Minneapolis between the Chief of Police, our Mayor and Representative Ilhan Omar and myself even, as I’m a writer are working on preventing anti-Islamic hate and bigotry that negatively effects the Muslim community.
So he calms down and is not yelling at me anymore. He goes from screaming to wanting to find out more about me, and while he’s doing that, I’m worried about people walking by him, that could set him off, especially when I’m looking to get away from him, as he was not only enraged, but clearly on illegal substances.
So I lie to him and say that I have to go, I’m waiting for a ride to visit a friend in ICU at North Memorial, he asks if he can stay with me and come along, I tell him it’s not possible. Then he quizzes me while demanding I sit next to him of the color of my friends, I tell him that my friend in ICU is white, as well as my friend who I’m waiting for is white.
I tell him I must go and head down 5th towards 7th street (pic above is where I was hiding behind a bus station) first I text my boyfriend NOT to come near the front of my building that there’s an emergency and then I called 911, after warning people who were standing there talking at that street corner, as well as as woman with a baby in a stroller headed in the direction of the guy, who was still sitting in front of building that the man sitting front of that building is dangerous and they need to leave the area.
Unfortunately for me, he didn’t remain in front of my building for long, I was about 100 feet away from the Sexton Building and after spotting me, he ran across the parking lot between that building and my apartment shouting my name (well, the name I gave him, which was Ali) then starts screaming at me for lying to him and he admits, that he originally was going to kill me, but thought I was different that I cared and that I wasn’t a normal white female anti-Islamic male hater.
I calmly admitted to him that I do care, that he was scaring me when he was screaming at me (and his admission that he thought about killing me, didn’t help but didn’t tell him that), and when he started repeatedly and very loudly telling me he loved me, that he wanted to know if I’d share my money, crack and ganja (the last 2 out of 3 I didn’t have) that if I wasn’t going to have sex with him, as he asked saying that would make him feel better and explained to him I didn’t have any of the other 3 things he wanted, as well as lying to him that I was on probation for drug possession and abuse and that the county repeatedly drug tested me.
Unless this has happened to someone else, I can’t explain how surreal and scary it is, to have someone who admits they wanted to kill you at first, then asks you to marry them and that fights with you about being a liar who won’t share your money, crack and weed with them, but admits that they still love you anyways and that person is a violent unstable stranger, who’s not in his right mind that fueled further by illegal substances .
This is the deal though, if he had to confront any white woman with the intention of killing them, I’m GLAD he picked me. I’ve lived in Downtown Minneapolis long enough, I get harassed for sex, drugs and money all the time.
I know better than to get an attitude.
Which no one should ever do, especially in my case, I didn’t have a weapon, nor would I ever even try to get a permit and a gun.
And I wasn’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time, I was in front of my apartment building where going back in it, I wasn’t going to risk, because he would’ve forced his way into it, making him also a threat to my building and my neighbors.
After his second confrontation when I kindly said there was NOTHING I could do to help him but that I wish him well, he FINALLY decided to leave me in peace because he understood at least that I was scared by him and I was sincere in acknowledging that I was sorry about his experience with hate.
That 2nd confrontation lasted about 8 minutes, by then my boyfriend pulled up at 5th and 7th, I quickly hopped in his SUV, made him roll up the windows, briefly pointed out as that guy was fighting by then with some guy in front of the construction build for the new Thrivent HQ, a block away from my apartment building further on 5th when we drove by them and I was absolutely shaking.
I had thought about calling 911, a 2nd time to tell them he moved a block further down 5th but felt I had given such a good description, that they would find him and didn’t want to be nuisance, now in the last 36 hours, I feel horrible that I never called 911 back to tell them he moved a block further down.
So I come home several hours later after going to dinner which I couldn’t eat, I mention my experience on Facebook, I call the non emergency phone number for the police, where the lady who answered said officers responded at the time, but that he wasn’t there.
I love our Minneapolis first responders, whether it be police, fire and HCMC EMS and 911.
But they didn’t respond to my call right away and I had told the 911 operator the location was of my apartment building, outside a man was making a terroristic threat and that I was calling from the corner of 5th Avenue and 7th Street, as I was trying to get away from him and prevent anyone else from walking by him, as well.
And this is what haunts me, personally, as I’m a larger not attractive woman who smokes cigarettes, that while I described him, I never described myself, what if they did see him, the 2nd time he approached me, where I was a half a block away from the address I gave the 911 operator and thought it was a non violent domestic discussion of sorts.
It also haunts me, what if he ended up hurting if not killing someone else.
But what I realized is, that we as a city and county (actually this needs to be done on a national and global level) if we want to have a prayer of reducing the chances of another violent incident by someone who feels like they’ve been a target of hate for so long, that feeling of rejection and rage escalates to someone wanting deadly revenge that we have to figure out how to reach out to those individuals to break the cycle.
I’ve been trying to achieve this as an activist and blogger for violent crime prevention for YEARS.
So maybe what I said, but was lying about city and state initiatives that involve our MPD, Mayor, Minneapolis City Council and with help from Rep. Ilhan Omar regarding anti-Islamic hate , as well as I’m willing to help and help from top psychological and chemical dependency specialists could and actually should be created, to help those who are at risk due to constant rejection, of helping reducing the escalation of rage that leads to potentially deadly harm as a form of revenge.
AS, I came this close, 2 days ago, to becoming a news story, myself and having an obituary written about my death, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a skill set that’s good when working with people who ARE violent and/or severely mentally ill and in crisis and I don’t discount that in this case, I also was very lucky.
While I can only hope that his confrontation with me, was enough to spare someone else from potential violence, if not deadly harm.
But hoping isn’t enough, what happened to that little boy at Mall of America will happen again, what happened to me, will happen again but escalate to a tragedy and maybe we won’t be able to prevent all of these tragedies, it will be worth it, if we can prevent at least some of them.
Note: Anything that’s not constructive will not published. I find any kind of anti-Islamic and anti-semetic hate actually any kind of hate based upon appearances, religion, political affiliation, socioeconomics, weight and ideologies, revolting.