What was the true motive behind the murder of the three Sudanese boys in Fort Wayne?

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is asking African immigrants, African Americans and black people of every origin throughout the world to sign a petition demanding a “possible hate crime” federal investigation into the deaths of the three Sudanese-American boys. These boys, Adam Mekki, aged 20, Mohamed Taha Omar, aged 23 and Muhannad A. Tairab, aged 17, were found executed in a ‘party house’ in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, on February 24.

Although investigations into the incident are ongoing, Fort Wayne’s Public Safety Director, Rusty York, maintains that these deaths were not necessarily a result of a hate crime involving religious or racial bias, while the Indiana State Police are yet to identify a motive for the ‘execution style’ murders of the young men.

Adam, Muhannad and Mohamed were originally from Sudan in East Africa, with the latter two being Muslim and Adam, a Christian. According to reports, even though the house in which they were discovered is infamous in the boys’ neighbourhood, all three were “good kids” and had no criminal records or history and were not linked to any gang activities.

Thus, both law enforcement officials and the families and friends of the deceased remain nonplussed as regards the motive(s) behind their deaths which would help in getting justice for them. The main theories surrounding the boys’ murders, as put forward by concerned groups and individuals, include hate crime and possible delinquency.

Hate crime, delinquency, all or none of the above?

Fort Wayne has been described as highly segregated as it is diverse, where it is not uncommon to witness robberies and gang-related violence. However, the Fort Wayne Police Department has definitely ruled out hate crime. A judgement that is being largely debated by residents of Fort Wayne. Two residents claim that the nature of the crime perpetuated against the boys was the first of its kind in the Fort Wayne area, despite ‘usual’ activities of prejudice.

Mohamed’s father, Mustafa Kedio, also commented that he could not precisely call the unfortunate incident, which many on social media are comparing to the Chapel Hill shooting of three Muslims, a hate crime.

This seems to leave the police with possible delinquency which the victims’ families, friends and spectators swear against. Confusingly enough, the bodies of Adam, Mohamed, and Muhannad were found in a house notorious for gang-related activities. However, the police stated that the boys have a right to be at the house at the time that they were there and they have also ruled out the possibility of the boys’ involvement in gang activities. The boys were shot multiple times.

BAJI’s petition, which carries “#OurThreeBoys deserve better”, appears certain of the real reason(s) why Adam, Muhannad and Mohamed were targeted and asks that premature and irresponsible declarations stop being made in their case, especially in the “current climate of rampant islamophobia, anti-blackness and anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

According to a relative of Omar’s and Tairab’s, their families left the war-torn region in Africa where they come from, but the destiny awaiting them in the United States is “crazy”.

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