Others’ Opinion: FBI, police transparency is welcome in St. Cloud

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

St. Cloud Times

Distributed by By The Associated Press

The FBI, St. Cloud police and Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall did exactly what they said they were going to do in updating the community on the progress of the investigation into the Crossroads Center stabbing tragedy.

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The officials were about as transparent as possible considering it is still on ongoing investigation.

Let’s be clear on a few points made during the Oct. 6 briefing delivered by the officials, including St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis.

Kendall made the right call in not pursuing any charges against the off-duty Avon police officer who shot and killed Dahir Adan, ending a stabbing spree in which 10 people were injured.

The officer is a hero. Without his timely and courageous actions, additional people could have been injured or killed by Adan.

If there were any doubts about Kendall’s decision, the video released by law enforcement showing Adan stabbing a store clerk and the confrontation with the officer provided complete and irrefutable answers. It was a justified shooting.

We live in an age where people expect to see concrete proof, including video, to believe what people tell them.

That is why the decision to release the video from the stabbing attack was so critical. Keep in mind, the sooner the video is released, the better. Delays only fuel rumors and distrust.

The briefing by St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton provided the community details not only on what Adan is believed to have done but what his motivation may have been for the attack.

We urge the FBI and other law enforcement officers to continue to dig as deep as needed to find out whether there were any outside influences or contacts that may have radicalized the 20-year-old Muslim man.

The FBI agent’s explanation of behavior changes Adan exhibited in the months leading up to the attack should serve as warning signs for anyone with a family member or friend who may become radicalized.

Mayor Kleis also brought up a very important effort to help the victims who were injured and/or traumatized. Community members should consider making a donation to a fund set up to help those victims. To donate or get more information, call the mayor’s office at 320-255-7201.

Those victims and others who may have been traumatized by the mall stabbings need all the help and support we can muster.

Another group of people who need to have support and conversations are our children. We hope that parents have taken time to explain to children what happened on that tragic day at the mall. We hope they also either kept their young children from viewing the video or gave them plenty of explanation and reassurance that they are safe.

Don’t take anything for granted as far as helping children understand what happened with the tragedy at the mall.