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Dem Rep: ‘Enough Facts’ To Pursue Muslim Student Shooting as a Hate Crime

Thursday on  CNN’s “New Day,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, said the fatal shooting at the University of North Carolina of three Muslims students, which police say initial indications are the murders were over “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” should be investigated as a hate crime.

When asked if he believed they were targeted because they were Muslim, Ellison said, “I think there are enough facts in the record to pursue that as a line of investigation. There certainly are some facts to indicate that this may — their religion — may have been a factor. So I think that it’s very important that we pursue this and get to the bottom of it. I am confident, based on my review of the facts, that the parking answer is certainly not the whole story.”

He added, “People I’ve talked to in North Carolina who have told me that there was some history between the people, that there may have been comments about — there may have been some comments referring to, you know, religious clothing or clothing associated with certain religious practices. You know, what I want to say is that it’s prudent for us not to jump to a conclusion, but it’s also prudent for us to keep all options open, including the possibility that it was a bias motivated crime. I don’t want anybody to jump to any conclusions. I want us to keep our minds open and follow the facts where they lead us.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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