(People's World) -- The hashtag #JusticeForElijah began trending across social media platforms this week as the world learned of the murder of Elijah Al-Amin, a Black teenager who was stabbed to death by a white man in Arizona. The alleged killer’s lawyer is claiming her client, Michael Adams, is mentally ill, while Elijah’s family and community activists are demanding his murder be seen as a hate crime. Al-Amin’s death turns the spotlight, yet again, on the open bigotry, racism, and rising number of hate crimes that have become the norm since Donald Trump took to the White House in 2016.
Adams, 27, attacked and killed 17-year-old Al-Amin at a Circle K convenience store in Peoria, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, on July 4. Adams attacked the teen, slitting his throat, after deciding Elijah’s rap music made him feel “unsafe.” Adams admitted to police that he was not provoked by Elijah prior to the attack, but decided to be “proactive rather than reactive,” as he asserted that people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community.
Adams had just been released from the Arizona State Prison Complex two days prior to the attack. According to Maricopa County Superior Court records, his criminal history includes disorderly conduct, assault with a weapon, and aggravated assault of a correctional employee.
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