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   Vol. 70/No. 3           January 23, 2006  
Somalis in Ohio protest killing
by cops of mentally ill man
About 100 people, several carrying signs that read “Nasir Abdi needed medication, not a bullet,” demonstrated December 30 outside the city hall building in Columbus, Ohio. The protest took place after Abdi, a 23-year-old Somali man who suffered from mental illness, was shot and killed by Columbus cops two days earlier.

According to police reports, Abdi allegedly threatened four police officers with a kitchen knife. The cops said they were attempting to arrest him and bring him to a local psychiatric center. Witnesses to the shooting said Adbi had no knife.

According to the Associated Press, neighborhood residents who gathered shortly after Abdi’s killing confronted the police, screaming “Cold-blooded killers!” More cops arrived to break up the protest.

Columbus police officials have sought to rationalize the killing by saying that the cops involved lacked “training in dealing with mentally ill suspects.”

Maryam Warsame, who joined the December 30 demonstration, told reporters: “Is it because of their color? Is it because of their language? Is it because of what? Why did he have to lose his life? This man needed help.”  
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