Ohio student protesters are concerned about the way police handled a recent terrorist attack on campus, saying police went “too far” in shooting and killing attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan, Law Newz is reporting.
On November 28, Artan, a Somali refugee, deliberately crashed his car into a group of people before emerging from his car with a butcher knife and stabbing several others. As The Columbus Dispatch reported at the time, an unknown person had called in to say that toxic chemicals were leaking inside a campus building with laboratory facilities. Students and faculty evacuated the building, according to procedure, and gathered in front.
Artan then rammed his Honda Civic into the crowd, striking and injuring several bystanders, before crashing into a wall. Witnesses say that Artan “let out a war cry” and produced a butcher knife, stabbing people at random. The attack ended less than two minutes after began, when a police officer, later identified by NBC News as Alan Horujko, shot and killed the assailant.
— OSU Police (@OSUPOLICE) November 28, 2016
Horujko said he ordered Artan to put down his weapon, but did not comply. When Artan “charged” toward Horujko, as described by witnesses, the police officer shot him multiple times, killing him.
For student group the Ohio State University Coalition for Black Liberation, that explanation doesn’t appear to be good enough. The organization, which has kept a running tally of people killed by police since October, added Artan’s name.
— The Lantern (@TheLantern) December 8, 2016
Last week, according to Ohio State University newspaper The Lantern, the group held a rally on campus where they displayed a list of names of “people of color” killed by police, then read a eulogy for each person, including the names, ages and the location of their deaths, followed by a moment of silence.
Maryam Abidi, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies student, told The Lantern that people killed by police often turn out to have been bad people – such as radicalized Islamist terrorists – but that being a bad person doesn’t mean you deserve to be killed on the spot, without trial.
“In some cases, the deceased may have committed acts of violence against others before they were killed. Perhaps they were domestic abusers, perhaps they threatened or killed others. This possibility is not something to shy away from. The protest against police brutality extends to the innocent and the guilty alike, because we know that no matter the crime, justice and due process don’t come from a cop’s bullet.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Artan’s death has been controversial around the OSU campus. While many students and employees are calling him a terrorist or would-be murderer and are glad to see him gone, and/or are calling the police officer who killed him a hero, others are calling for compassion. One such person, Stephanie Clemons Thompson, the assistant director of residence life in the Office of Student Life University Housing, generated a firestorm of controversy with her social media post asking for students to stop celebrating Artan’s death.
“Abudl Razak Ali Artan was a BUCKEYE, a member of our family. If you think it is ok to celebrate his death and/or share pictures of his dead body and I see it in my timeline, I will unfriend you.#BuckeyeStrong #BlackLivesMatter #SayHisName”
That post caused outrage, with some inside and outside of OSU calling for Thompson’s firing.
Do you believe the Ohio State University student protesters are right to question the need to shoot and kill Abdul Razak Ali Artan?
[Featured Image by Kevin Stankiewicz/TheLantern.com via AP, File]