Thousands of people on Twitter are calling for #JusticeForElijah after 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin was allegedly murdered for listening to rap music.
Michael Adams, 27, was charged with the first-degree murder of Elijah after allegedly slitting the teen’s throat in a Peoria, Ariz., Circle K store at around 1:45am on Thursday.
According to court documents obtained by AZ Central, Adams told police that he killed Elijah because the teen was listening to rap music. Adams admitted that the boy did nothing to provoke the attack nor did he threaten Adams, but the suspect said he wanted to be “proactive rather than reactive,” saying that people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community.
According to records from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Adams was released from the Arizona State Prison Complex in Yuma, where he served a 13-month sentence for aggravated assault, just two days before the recent attack. His criminal history also includes theft, marijuana violation and assault with a weapon. Once the murder charges were brought forward, however, Adams’s lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, said that he was “set up for failure.”
“They released him to the streets with no medication, no meds, with no way to care for himself,” she 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.”
Now, people are taking to Twitter to share their opposition to Cotterell’s defense and to demand that justice be served for Elijah amid what most are calling an act of racism.
Michael Adams stabbed 17-year-old Elijah to death, because he didn’t like his rap music playing.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) July 8, 2019
Now they are trying to say he was mentally ill — per usual. America needs to hold white terorrists accountable for they heinous crimes. #JusticeForElijah
Funny how quickly we get to "mentally ill" when the suspect is white and the victim isn't. He killed an innocent teenager because he was listening to rap, call him what he is: murderer, RACIST. #JusticeForElijah— DanDemonium😈 (@Druiddan3) July 8, 2019
This is pretty much how I feel about it. The fact that kids shot up by cops get called "thugs, monsters" and a real monster shows up and he's supposed to get sympathy because he hated rap and the color of his victim's skin? #JusticeForElijah https://t.co/EkNFGTYXcA— Burnt (@burnthegamer) July 8, 2019
His music, OUR music is NOT A THREAT to you or your community. However this white narrative of “mental illness” used to justify the killing of young black men is a major threat to ours. #JusticeForElijah pic.twitter.com/b6o1Iwh08O— Kam✌️ (@therealkamryne) July 8, 2019
if a black man killed a 17 year old white boy for listening to country music, they wouldn’t say the black man is mentally ill. STOP using mental illness as an excuse for racism!!! and you’re painting an awful picture for people who actually have mental illnesses #JusticeForElijah pic.twitter.com/g7PuhyhRQB— Isabella (@bellaajuliaa) July 8, 2019
Young black teens are being murdered in the US for wearing hoodies, playing with toys, listening to rap music, standing outside a store. This is a racial issue, not a mental health issue. These people are white supremacists and terrorists. Tired of this shit. #JusticeForElijah— davey (@jerseyh0mo) July 8, 2019
Others railed against the issue of bringing mental illness to light only when it comes as a defense of violent crimes.
It’s sad because this tired criminal defense is the only attention the media gives to mental health issues. It creates such a negative stigma around those who are nonviolent (a vast majority btw). #JusticeForElijah https://t.co/Q45zNzsgxd— shelby spavale (@shelbyy258) July 8, 2019
Stop using the old narrative that the man who killed this innocent child has a mental illness. It's so degrading to people who actually have mental illnesses and y'all are just using it as a cop out for this man's racism. He's racist, a bigot, and he's evil #JusticeForElijah— M a K a y l a🍉 (@makaylabuggg) July 8, 2019
For those of you assuming that I am “attacking people with mental illness”, I did not mean for it to come off that way. I myself struggle with PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, and Depression. But mental illness is not an excuse to KILL SOMEONE.— Anakarina 🎶🌺🌸 (@AnaBananaKarina) July 8, 2019
#JusticeForElijah Because I, too have a mental illness. Three, in fact. But I did NOT and will NOT use that as an excuse for violence or harm to others. Period.— Seyoncé ✨ (@punextended) July 8, 2019
A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Corrections told AZ Central that Adams “was not designated seriously mentally ill.” As of Monday, the suspect is being held in a Maricopa County jail on a $1 million bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in court on July 15.
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