Demands for justice began after a white man was arrested for fatally stabbing 17-year-Elijah Al-Amin in Arizona over rap music.
According to azcentral, the suspect, 27-year-old Michael Paul Adams, not only admitted to killing the teen around 1:42 a.m. on July 4, but he also explained his violent attack was fueled over music. Adams told police he heard Elijah playing rap music in his car at a Circle K store in Peoria.
Adams told police rap music makes him feel "unsafe" because of an incident he had with someone who listened to the music in the past. He also went on to suggest anyone who listens to rap music is a threat to the whole community.
Even though Adams said he only felt threatened by the music and not by Elijah, he still decided to be "proactive rather than reactive," police records state.
Circle K surveillance footage shows Elijah walk into the convenience store and Adams following just a few steps behind. Adams walked around the Circle K before pulling a knife from his pocket and lunging at the teen.
Elijah was stabbed in the back and throat, before running outside and collapsing at a gas pump.
Police performed CPR on the teen before he was transported to a local hospital. Elijah was pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m., according to police records.
Adams was arrested on 67th Avenue near the Circle K where he told an officer he was involved in the stabbing after being found with blood on his body and clothes.
Adams was booked into a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of first-degree premeditated murder and is being held on a $1 million bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in court July 15.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Adams had just been released from the Arizona State Prison Complex in Yuma two days before the fatal attack against Elijah.
Adams’ criminal history includes theft, shoplifting, marijuana violation, disorderly conduct, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault of a correctional employee, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.
Jacie Cotterell, Adams’ lawyer, said her client was “set up for failure” and questioned whether he was given access to mental health resources after he was released from prison.
“To be specific, he was given resources, he wasn’t given means to get to those resources,” she told azcentral.
However, Bill Lamoreaux, a spokesman with the Arizona Department of Corrections, said in a written statement that Adams “was not designated seriously mentally ill.”
He also claimed Adams was provided with contacts for community services such as continuing care, housing and welfare.
Elijah’s death sparked a nationwide discussion and the hashtag #justiceforElijah began trending over the weekend. Many people on Twitter believe Adams should not be viewed as the victim and mental health issues cannot always be a means for white extremism to be justified.
(Photos from left: Maricopa County Detention Center, ABC15 Arizona)