There are pictures and names of the two suspects killed by knife stabbing an eighteen-year-old Somali on Sunday. The police are tightlipped and have not given any other information than “the investigation is ongoing.”
If, and there is a big if here, the identity of the suspects is correct and have Finnish last names, the police should mention and investigate if what happened was a hate crime.
I’d ask the police as well if the suspects belonged or hung around some white supremacist group.
It is not the first time that I have covered such a case. One of the great sources of the anxiety of the police is reprisals by members of the victim’s ethnic group.
This was the case during Black February when for over three weeks in 2012 we read about the death of three Muslims , a suicide and a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* councilman who offered a medal to a white Finn for killing one of these victims in an Oulu pizzeria in cold blood before shooting himself.
He said that apart from not expressing any empathy for the parents’ grief, it was difficult to get any information from the police about the crime.
“We were treated coldly and felt like we were the criminals,” he said. “The police appeared to be more concerned about keeping the case under wraps because they feared a revenge attack by Somalis.”
A more recent case involves Rashid H., a Pakistani migrant who was stabbed up to thirty times in February 2018. The wife said that after crime took place on Friday, a police officer called her and said that it wasn’t a hate crime.
I interviewed the investigating officer concerning Rasheed’s case who told me that he spoke to the three suspects and “concluded they weren’t racists.”
The police have asked the migrant community not to publish anything about the Kannelmäki case for fear of spreading false rumors.
If one remembers the Oulu sexual assault cases of minors in December 2018-April 2019, the Oulu police was especially active in putting out statements, labeling Muslims, and helping the media to uncover the nationality of the suspects.
The actions of the Oulu police, the media, politicians, the Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government and President Sauli Niinistö were well below par. If anything, it showed that these institutions are no friends of asylum seekers and Muslims.
And who could forget in August when the Islamophobic PS tried to exploit again for its political aims the case of two gunmen who shot two police officers in Porvoo? PS politicians were demanding the ethnic identity of the suspects because they believed they were Muslims and/or asylum seekers.
The PS ended up looking like a horse’s ass when it became clear that the two suspects were Finns who lived in Sweden.
The tragedy that took place in Kannelmäki has impacted especially hard the Somali community because they fear what happened to the Somali Finn could happen to them.
While I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and pay for their crimes, the police has a good opportunity as well to raise its credibility in the eyes of the Somali and visible migrant community.
One member of that community asked if the police are going to sweep what happened under the rug by sanitizing the crime’s racism aspect? “Are they going to conclude that the suspects had mental issues, were under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” she said, “or that they grew up in broken homes?”
The following days will provide an answer to that very crucial question.