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Rochester, MN: Somali Family Target of Possible Bias Crime

Friday, April 05, 2013

Rochester police are investigating after a Somali family wakes up to find their car damaged with a nasty note.

With plastic covering both front windows Abdirizak Alishire can no longer drive his van.

"Tuesday night someone broke both my front windows," said Alishire.

But it's not the windows police are concerned about, it's the letter that was left on the front windshield.

"In that note were some derogatory racial comments," said Captain Brian Winters.

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He says because of the language used they are investigating this incident as a possible biased crime.

"When you come out and find someone stole something out of your car that's a nuisance, but when someone comes out and damaged your car because of who you are, that's personal."

This wouldn't be the first time police have seen biased crimes in the area. Just over a year ago vandals in northwest Rochester drew swastikas and “KKK” all over a Somali families driveway.

"Unfortunately there have been previous reports similar to this," said Winters.

Police do not have any suspects and the only one the family can think of is a Somali man they've had trouble with in the past.

Winters says just hearing of one report of a possible bias crime is one to many.

"We as a department take this very seriously and we as a community should take this very seriously as well," said Winters.

Because of the cost Alishire says he is unsure that he will even be able to fix his windows

"I don't have the money."

Police say there is little evidence to go off of. But they will follow up with the family.

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