Black Somali Muslim woman killed after family calls police for help during her mental health crisis
On April 28th, 2018, a 36 year old Black Somali Muslim woman, Shukri Ali, was shot and killed at the hands of two Johns Creek police officers in North Fulton, Georgia.
Allegedly, Shukri Ali was walking near Sweet Creek and Abbotts Bridge roads with a knife at hand. Her family reported that Ali was mentally ill and had struggled with her mental health for the past eight years. She had told her sister she was hearing voices and “needed to leave the house,” picking up a small kitchen knife. Ali’s family promptly called local John Creek police to engage and “de-escalate the situation.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) stated that the police officers made multiple non-lethal attempts to engage with a disturbed, knife-wielding Ali “to de-escalate the encounter through the use of less lethal force,” including a taser and a “foam impact round,” Johns Creek Capt. Chris Byers said. Ali reportedly refused to drop the knife and the two officers then proceeded to open fire. Ali died at Emory Johns Creek Hospital from her injuries.
Her family contacted their attorney, Ibrahim Awad, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Georgia to conduct an independent investigation of the incident.
“The family can find some comfort in the belief that Shukri is at peace, but this family cannot rest comfortably; they cannot rest peacefully until they know what happened to Shukri, why it happened, whether her civil liberties were violated and what law enforcement can do to prevent this from happening to another mentally ill person in our state,” said Edward Mitchell with CAIR Georgia.
Ali’s family had moved recently from California to Georgia and said that past experiences with law enforcement resulted with Shukri subdued at a hospital. They had assumed a similar course of action would take place this time.
CAIR GA’s Mitchell also stated, “It is also possible that law enforcement reacted differently to Shukri, a Somali-American woman who was reportedly wearing a hijab and a dress at the time of the shooting, then they would have reacted to another individual.”
The officers have not been identified and currently are on administrative leave. Shukri Ali was buried on Sunday, April 29th.