Teen Elijah Al-Amin was killed for listening to rap music—now people are calling for #JusticeForElijah.
The 17-year-old was stabbed to death by a man at an Arizona gas station on July 4. The man said he was made to feel “unsafe” by the rap music Elijah was playing in his car. His family said he would have turned 18 in just a few weeks. He was reportedly on his way home from work when he stopped at the gas station to get a soda.
Michael Paul Adams came up behind him and slit his throat. The 27-year-old man was released from prison just two days earlier. Authorities said the man admitted to the murder and told police “people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community.”
The suspect’s attorney blamed mental illness for the killing. He has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder, but many are questioning why the case isn’t being treated as a hate crime. Some have even written rap songs in honor of Elijah.
His friends and family say Elijah saw rap music as a way to change the world for the better.
“He was just a young, ambitious kid that wanted life to be better for himself and others around him,” Elijah’s father Mr. Al-Amin told The New York Times.