Teen killed by white man who says rap music made him feel ‘unsafe’

Suspect says he stabbed 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin even though he was no threat to him.

Michael Paul Adams (right) stabbed and slit the throat of 17-year-old Elijah El-Amin (left) because he was playing rap music that Adams deemed threatening. (Michael Paul Adams’ Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

It’s a story that eerily sounds familiar. One that has you asking yourself how could this possibly have happened again. Elijah Al-Amin, 17, was making a stop at the gas station in Peoria, Arizona after finishing his work shift when he became the target of a hate-filled attack last Thursday.

Police say 27-year-old Michael Paul Adams confessed to killing the teenager because he was playing rap music in his car and it made him feel “unsafe,” reports AZCentral.

According to police reports, Adams approached the teen inside the store at 1:42am stabbed him and then slit his throat with a pocketknife.

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Adams, who had just been released from prison two days before, told police that “rap music made him feel unsafe because in the past, he was attacked by people who listened to that music genre,” according to court documents.

Police say Adams expressed he “needed to be proactive rather than reactive and protect himself and the community from the victim” even though Al-Amin did nothing to threaten him.

The story brings back memories of the 2012 murder of Jordan Davis when 45-year old Michael Dunn shot into a car carrying Davis and several of his friends because of the volume of their music. Jordan Davis died on the scene while Dunn has since been sentenced to life without parole.

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According to AZfamily.com, Adams attorney Jacie Cotterell is already mounting a defense that he committed the act due to mental illness, but the Arizona Department of Corrections has issued a statement indicating that Adams “was not designated seriously mentally ill.”

“Prior to his release, inmate Adams was provided contact information for services in the community such as continuing care, housing, welfare as well as other community resources….The tragic death is terrible, and Mr. Adams will have to answer for his alleged actions.”

Elijah Al-Amin was a student at Apollo High School who was said to have loved rap music for the ways it encouraged and related to him.

Adams is being charged with first-degree premeditated murder and bail has been set for $1 million. He is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing on July 15.

Meanwhile, just like after the slaying of Davis, the hashtag #JusticeForElijah has begun trending on social media in memory of the promising 17-year old.

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