Students at Ohio State University have added attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s name to a list of “individuals of color” who have been wrongly killed by law enforcement officers over the past two months.
Students gathered in front of the Thompson library last week to commemorate the death of the assailant in the recent Ohio State University attack which led to nearly a dozen people being sent to the hospital. Artan, a junior at the university attacked community members with his car and knife before he was ultimately shot and killed by a university police officer.
According to The Lantern, the student newspaper of Ohio State University, Pranav Jani, a professor in the school’s English department, claimed that she understood why Artan was moved to commit an act of violence.
Among the names on the list was Artan. Those in attendance said they did not condone his actions, but some said they have compassion for the attacker, who expressed feelings of anxiety related to how he was perceived as a Muslim.
“You can understand where an act of violence comes from without condoning that act of violence,” said Pranav Jani, an associate professor of English.
The student organizers of the event explained that several of the members of their list had committed acts of violence before being killed by law enforcement. The students argue that their protest against police brutality extends to those guilty of violent crimes: “In some cases, the deceased may have committed acts of violence against others before they were killed. Perhaps they were domestic abusers, perhaps they threatened or killed others. This possibility is not something to shy away from. The protest against police brutality extends to the innocent and the guilty alike, because we know that no matter the crime, justice and due process don’t come from a cop’s bullet,” Abidi said while reading the eulogy.
Ultimately, Artan’s name was added by the students to a list of persons of color who they believe had been wrongly killed by police over the past month.
Towards the end of the event, the student organizers encouraged students to attend a rally against President-elect Donald Trump, who was scheduled to visit campus to visit with the victims of the attack later in the week.