Migrant Tales asked in April after the tragic death of an eighteen-year-old Somali Finn in Helsinki on April 26 is treated by the police as a hate crime.
What is equally surprising is the total news blackout on social media by the police as if communities affected by what happened don’t have the right to express their mourning and outrage.
Even if there is some indication that the motive of the fatal stabbing may have had a bias motivators like ethnicity, the Finnish media is more interested in reporting about the suspect’s criminal background instead of how ethnicity may have played a role.
One Somali Finn that I contacted after the fatal stabbing stated:
“The death first made me angry, but then I told myself that this was going to happen since I live in such a racist country.
The roots of this tragedy go back to when the mayor of Helsinki [Jan Vapaavuori] labeled the Somalis [on April 14] as those spreading coronavirus. What he did was label us as part of the coronavirus problem of Finland. Anybody could see what was going to happen next. People get scared, and the racists get more aggressive and start targeting you.”
A hate crime comprises of two factors: the crime + bias motivation. Thus a hate crime is determined by bias, which includes: victim perception, organized hate groups, crime pattern, intense violence and specific targetting, timing, the difference between the victim and perpetrator, and by no other obvious motive.
The latter category, no obvious motive, is also relevant because it suggests that the crime was motivated by bias.
Indeed, people who commit a hate crime will do their best to play down or claim amnesia when it comes to determining their bias motivation.
One of the most critical questions about the death of the young Keyse Abdifatah Macalesh is why the police service mustn’t play down or overlook hate crime.
One of the most obvious reasons is so that they will not encourage the spread of similar crimes from happening.
My question to the police: Are there any bias motivators taken into account in Macalesh’s case?
We will soon find the answer to that question.