Committed the crime of being Black

Committed the crime of being Black

Makayla Comoza, Reporter

An African American Man named Khalil Azad was driving while being intoxicated on July 3rd, 2022, He was pulled over in Minnesota by Robbinsdale police at around eleven pm. The surveillance from the officer’s body cam shows them chasing Mr. Azad’s car but not a moment before, not showing them catching onto Mr. Azad weird driving behaviors.  After being chased Mr. Azad sped and crashed his car into a tree near crystal lake and he got out and took off. Leaving behind two passengers who were in the car along with him, one of the two being his brother. From the footage the police had it was more of a calm situation as they looked for Mr. Azad while talking to the other two passengers who were in the car with Mr. Azad. 

One police officers body cam recorded him and a dog going into the woods to find Mr. Azad calling for him saying “Give up now or I’ll send in the dog.” 

 According to the police tapes and documentation they did not find Mr. Azad and they did not know about his whereabouts. And where the community is at a loss is when the police found Mr. Azad two entire days later. In crystal lake they said he “drowned” but when he was brought in for an autopsy his face was swollen, battered, And unrecognizable. He had scratches and speculation of dog bite marks, and bruises and Mr. Azad had dreadlocks as if yanked from his head according to the autopsy. The questions I’m sure many of us have is why? And how? And who did it?   

Mr. Azad was only twenty four and had a two month old daughter. And he was cared for and loved by many people in his community and neighborhood. The fact of the matter is yes, Mr. Azad ran when he shouldn’t of, but did he have to pay for it with his life? Did him running have to result in his family mourning him, and his daughter now without a father? The stories were not aligning, and many people began to see blanks in the officer’s story. And when people began to rewatch the footage when it was later released only a month ago in March 2023 that the officers shared, there was speculation that officers tweaked with the footage. And some parts of the tape would become blurry and hard to see and then it would as if allegedly “Jump cut” or skipped over parts of the surveillance. As if it was erased completely as if someone maybe an officer feared people finding out what truly happened to Mr. Azad that night.  

“He committed the crime of driving while black” The black community started an outcry and demanded answers because if Mr. Azad drowned as they said, how did he get those bruises? Did the fish rip out his hair and beat him? No, someone is covering up the story of what truly happened and knows more than what is being told. Nobody deserves to be treated that way it doesn’t matter if he ran, he didn’t deserve to be killed for it. “Don’t run from the police” whether you do or do not as a person of color things like this seem to be repetitive. To many people of color have been “mysteriously” dying and it’s the same typical pattern. They were pulled over by the cops for something, cops came to their home because of a “report”, cops coming because they had hoodies walking to the store and that caused “speculations” of theft. Whether they comply or not doesn’t seem to be the problem.   

Mr. Azad was chased down for a suspected DWI. And it took nine months for the officers to share the footage someone allegedly tweaked or changed. Nine months for Mr. Azads story to be shared. To this day nobody knows who did it and how this happened to Mr. Azad, and it seems that the officers are trying for it to be a private investigative case about what happened to Mr. Azad. It took them nine months to “find the footage”.   

It’s disappointing because we really didn’t get an update on what happened, and Mr. Azad didn’t get justice and his family his daughter to this day don’t know what happened to him.