On December 30 multiple Minneapolis police officers shot and killed 23-year-old Somali-American immigrant Dolal Idd of Eden Prairie outside a Holiday gas station. It was the first documented police killing by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) since the May 25 murder of George Floyd, which sparked thousands of protests in the US and internationally against police violence.
The latest killing prompted multiple multiracial protests in Minneapolis against the police in the ensuing days, including the night of the killing and over the weekend. On Sunday, hundreds of community and family members gathered at the gas station where Idd was killed to demand justice and call out the police for a menacing raid conducted on his family hours after he was gunned down.
At roughly 2:15 a.m. Thursday morning, less than eight hours after Idd’s death, more than a dozen heavily armed cops from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office conducted a raid on Idd’s home, holding his parents and younger siblings at gunpoint. Idd’s father, Bayle Adod Gelle, told the Sahan Journalthat he was “very scared” throughout the raid and that “I thought they were going to kill us.”
Video later released by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office shows police pointing semi-automatic rifles at Gelle and his children, who were barely dressed after being awoken in the middle of the night. Gelle said police did not tell him initially why they were there, only that they had a warrant and for him to “shut up.” The police zip-tied Gelle and his wife’s hand and proceeded to ransack the home over a period of two hours while their children, ages 4, 7, 9, 18 and 19, were huddled into the living room with their parents.
Gelle told the Journal that police did not show him the search warrant until after they went through the home. It was also at this time that Gelle first found out that Minneapolis Police had killed his son.
“Imagine your son getting killed, and then getting a visit from those who killed him and they terrorize you in your home?” Bayle told the Journal .
Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson released a statement along with the video of the raid claiming that the deputies “acted appropriately, respectfully and followed...procedure for high-risk warrants.”
The circumstances surrounding the latest killing are still murky as police work in tandem with Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey to tamp down simmering anger within the community and cover up the police’s role in yet another state-sanctioned murder. As news of the killing spread through the city and on social media, over 100 protesters gathered in the below-freezing temperatures outside the gas station, which is less than a mile from where Floyd was murdered earlier this year, to demand answers.
In response, the MPD released a 27-second clip of the encounter the following day which begins with police already pointing their weapons at Idd while using their sport utility vehicles to kettle Idd, who was driving a white car. Police allege that Idd shot through the driver’s side window in the direction of the cops, which prompted a fusillade of bullets in response, killing the Normandale Community College student. Neither the unidentified female passenger nor any police were injured during the altercation, which the Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed as a homicide after determining that Idd had died due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Police have refused to state how many shots were fired into the vehicle nor have they publicly released the names of the officers responsible.
While there is more video footage of the incident, including gas station recordings as well as other bodycams, Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said that the 27-second video is the only footage the department will be releasing as of now, citing the “ongoing investigation.” Elder noted that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading the investigation and was also involved in the raid on the family home, is in possession of other videos from the encounter.
Unverified social media reports claim the police had blocked Idd’s car and had their guns drawn on him before announcing themselves. It also appears police refused to render first aid or call an ambulance for Idd after shooting him.
During a press conference last Thursday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo gave scant details about what led to the shooting, stating that the police were executing a traffic stop on Idd as part of a “probable cause” weapons investigation. Arradondo refused to give additional details of the raid on the Gelle’s home, stating that his officers were not involved.
The latest police killing, and cover-up in process, exemplifies the futility of attempting to “reform” or “reimagine” the police into a more humane and transparent organization. Despite mountains of empty platitudes from Democratic Party politicians following the police murders of George Floyd, Casey Goodson, Breonna Taylor, Hannah Fizer, Jared Lakey, Andres Guardado and many others, police departments, abetted by the bipartisan political establishment, continue to kill with impunity, assured that they will be protected by bourgeois law that is designed to exonerate them, regardless of the circumstances.
While President Donald Trump has been overt in his fascistic appeals to the police, President-elect Joe Biden has been just as vociferous in his denunciations of anti-police violence protests. Throughout his presidential campaign Biden worked to blend the racial identity politics of the Democratic Party with a “law and order” message, releasing campaign ads denouncing protesters as “looters'' while pledging to increase funding to police departments.
In December, The Intercept obtained a video recording between Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and various civil rights leaders in the orbit of the Democratic Party taken during a “civil rights summit.”
An advocate of “shooting them in the leg instead of the heart,” Biden tamped down any expectations of reform, chastising those who pleaded with him to use the president’s executive powers to increase transparency while at the same time warning that he didn’t think “we should get too far ahead ourselves on dealing with police reform, in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police’...”
Instead, Biden upheld the nomination of Raytheon board member and war-criminal retired General Lloyd Austin, who is African American, to lead the Pentagon as an example of the type of “racial equity” that will be championed in his administration.
According to the Washington Post police shot and killed 989 people in 2020, while MappingPoliceViolence.org recorded 1,116 people killed by police over the same period. The fight to end police violence requires an understanding of their role in capitalist society, namely to enforce private property rights and uphold the unequal distribution of society’s resources through lethal force. Their abolition can only come about through a unified international socialist movement of the working class to put an end to the capitalist system.