According to recent reports, a 17-year-old man named Abdullahi Mohamed fled to the United States from a refugee camp with his family, hoping for a better life. Where they came from, food was scarce, the toilet was a hole in the ground, and you couldn’t make it through a day without coming into contact with scorpions.
Unfortunately, that “better life” took a turn for the worse when Mohamed started having trouble with the police. His cousin, Muslima Aden believes that his rebellion was related to his grandfather sustaining a brain injury in a car accident. Aden recalls her life in Kenya, and the family’s journey to Salt Lake City.
The family was tired of the near-constant violence in Somalia, and they decided to flee to the refugee camps.
“You’re pretty much fighting for survival,” Aden told reporters of the camps, describing cracking sand walls and metal roofs that would fly off in a bad storm. “We actually came to America to have a better life.”
Now, Mohamed is hospitalized in the town that the family once viewed as their haven. He was shot by authorities after refusing to obey commands to drop a metal stick he was using to beat a man.
Aden claims that Mohamed and his family faced discrimination for their Muslim beliefs in the city which houses the headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
Mohamed started getting in trouble with authorities when he was just 12 years old, according to court records. He spent time in a juvenile detention center for theft, trespass and assault. He was most recently arrested in September.
Still, his family was shocked by news that he had been shot by police. Mohamed and a second person were beating a man with metal sticks with officers intervened. They fired at Mohamed when he moved toward the beaten man instead of obeying a command to drop the stick.