The hashtag “#JusticeforElijah” has been trending across social media platforms following the murder of the 17 year old black teenager Elijah Al-Amin by 27 year old Michael Adams, a white man, at a Circle K in Peoria, Arizona. Adams remains in jail for pre-meditated murder and is being held on a $1 million bond, but as of right now, the case is not being treated as a hate crime.
At 1:42 am on July 4th, Adams—who had been released from prison just two days prior—stabbed the Al-Amin and slit his throat after he was playing rap music in his car. As reported by the Arizona central, Adams claims that he murdered Elijah Al-Amin because rap music makes him feel “unsafe” and that people who listen to rap are a threat to him and the community.
Adams’ attorney has argued that this was not an act of violent racism, but rather, the attack was a result of inadequate access to mental healthcare following Adam’s release from state prison.
Elijah Al-Amin is not the first black teenager to be murdered for playing rap music. In 2012, Jordan Davis was murdered in a gas station parking lot in Jacksonville, Florida by Michael Dunn for playing rap music in his car.
Sources: Feminist Newswire 8/19/14, Arizona Central 7/5/19, Vox 7/8/19, NBC News 7/9/19