Protests After Police Shoot Teen Holding Broomstick
Above Photo: Once shots were fired, hundreds of people flooded the streets in downtown Salt Lake City screaming at officers and throwing rocks, bottles and other debris at officers. Associated Press.
This is the 17-year-old boy fighting for his life in a coma after Utah police shot him in the chest because he was brandishing a broomstick.
Abdi Mohamed was hospitalized in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday night after the shooting near a homeless shelter.
Mohamed, who lives with his girlfriend and their son, moved to the States from Kenya 10 years ago, according to the New York Daily News.
He was gunned down at 8.15pm on Saturday when police saw him arguing with a man while clutching a broomstick, Fox 13 reports.
Surrounding them, police allegedly told the boy to drop the broomstick.
When he did not, ‘shots were fired’. Mohamed was hit in the chest and the stomach.
He was a really caring, good, loving boyfriend, and a really, good caring loving father, I know what he was doing every day, the things he would do for us,’ his girlfriend, Becca Monson, told Fox 13.
‘He just wanted to make sure we were loved and we were happy he put us in front of everything.’
The shooting sparked fierce protests that ripped through the city on Saturday night.
Around 100 officers were dispatched to contain the uproar as crowds shouted and threw objects at police, Fox reports.
Mohamed’s friend, Selam Mohammed, who was stood next to him at the time, claims the officers only gave the boy one chance to drop the broomstick in his hand.
‘The police said ‘drop it’ once, then they shot him four times,’ Mohammed told Fox News.
‘We were trying to break it up before the police even came, but the police ran in on foot and pulled their guns out already, they already had them, like, as soon as he was running he was already grabbing for his gun, not even trying to Tase him or anything…
‘He said ‘drop it’ [then] boom boom! Four times.’
Once shots were fired, hundreds of people flooded the streets screaming at officers and throwing rocks, bottles and other debris at officers, Fox reports.
Utah’s transit authority shut down tram services in the area until 11pm as multiple law enforcement agencies combined to tackle the uproar.
Fans at the Utah Jazz game at Vivint Smart Home Arena were advised mid-game to avoid the area on leaving.
Detective Greg Wilking told the Tribune he did not know how many shots were fired or whether an officer fired them.
Salt Lake City police told the newspaper that one officer – and possibly a second one – were involved in the shooting.
City police were helped by officers from three other departments as onlookers threw rocks at officers and yelled obscenities, the Tribune said. Police closed a light rail stop in the neighborhood.
Police detained multiple people but Wilking could not elaborate on the reason for the detentions.
There were ‘a lot of hostile people upset about what had taken place,’ Wilking told the Tribune.
At 8.40pm, a line of officers moved protesters down a sidewalk, the newspaper reported.
There are a number of homeless shelters in the neighborhood, and business owners have long complained about the homeless population and drug dealing, the Tribune said.