An Ohio State University (OSU) student who attempted to go on a stabbing spree last month before being gunned down by a nearby officer has been added to a protest list of non-whites “wrongly” shot and killed by police.
The OSU Coalition for Black Liberation is a campus protest group on OSU’s main campus in Columbus. The group held a rally Wednesday to protest the death of young black men at the hands of police, and read off a list of non-white men who had been killed by police in the last two months. Among the names read off was that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
Artan, of course, is the man who attempted to kill his classmates last week by attacking them with his car and then going on a stabbing spree. He was gunned down by OSU policeman Alan Horujko, who arrived on the scene just minutes after the rampage began and swiftly neutralized Artan.
Organizers of the protest said that Artan’s particular actions were irrelevant.
“In some cases, the deceased may have committed acts of violence against others before they were killed,” gender studies student Maryam Abidi said at the event, according to The Lantern. “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.”
Pranav Jani, an associate professor at OSU, said it was important to understand why Ali engaged in his act of violence, even if one didn’t condone it. In a Facebook message posted prior to his rampage, Ali suggested he was lashing out over the oppression of Muslims around the world.
Jani also defended Stephanie Clemons Thompson, an OSU staffer who urged sympathy for Artan just a day after the attack.
“Even compassion has been politicized, as we saw with the diversity officer who’s being attacked for daring to say let’s show compassion towards a fellow Buckeye who made tragic, tragic mistakes,” Jani told The Lantern