Boulder Police Acted On Belief King Sooper Shooter Was White
Credit: Screenshot
March 24, 2021

Ever since it's been revealed that the name of the alleged mass murderer is 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, there has been lots of crowing amongst the anti-social justice crowd for so many of us having assumed the killer was white.

Like thousands, I shared the following tweet from Alex Cole:

Remembering Elijah McClain in this context is particularly poignant and painful. The sweet, young, kid (to my mind — he was 23,) who played violin and guitar to animals in shelters to soothe their anxiety, murdered down the road by the Aurora police department for walking down the street as a neurodivergent soul, headphones and ski mask on, minding his business — because someone thought he looked "suspicious." The bright young man who begged for his life, showing the cops the utmost respect, saying "please," and being deferential, telling them they were beautiful, as he said how much they were hurting him before they killed him.

So, yes, a contrast between which people police consider a threat worthy of deadly force was very much in order, as far as many were concerned. But then we learned the Boulder shooter's name, and family's country of origin: Syria, though Alissa's family emigrated when he was a young child. Cue all the people who hate having to navigate what it means to have privilege in America (*whispers* white people) pointing fingers, and saying, SEE? HE ISN'T WHITE! DON'T YOU FEEL LIKE A MORON???

Even Meena Harris, Vice President Kamala Harris' niece, tweeted something presumptive about the shooter's race being white, but after learning he was of Syrian descent, deleted it. And right-wing Twitter had a field day. Hell, even some anti-PC lefties had a field day. (Remember, kids, "anti-PC" is just a modern way of saying "I would like to be racist without consequences!")

I felt a bit silly myself, about having assumed the shooter was white, and still, the point remained about the fact that had the shooter been a Black man, there's no question in my mind the police would have killed him. Yet, I found myself prone to moving from considering my mistakes, even if pointed out by someone with whose point of view I allowing myself to be allowing myself to be gaslit by these crowing racists asswipes, and needing to get back to the matter at hand.

The real question is not what race the shooter actually was. It's what race THE POLICE THOUGHT he was. And to answer that question, all we need do is listen to the 911 communications.

"We have a suspect wearing an armored vest about 5’8” weighing about 280 pounds in a vehicle. A white male."


"Units on this call: The updated description of the unknown male suspect is going to be a 30s white male with a tan vest. Unknown where he is."

So, white. The Boulder police believed the shooter was white. They described him as such more than once in their 911 communications.

THIS is what matters. The cops believed they were dealing with a white man. This is how they proceeded after they saw him, after he shot at them. They did not know any more than we did, until he was apprehended, that he had a Syrian name, and was Muslim. Alex Cole's point stands. (So, by the way, does Meena Harris', though it's not quite the same...)

So, don't let people gaslight you about your assumption that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was taken alive because he was white. THE COPS thought he was white. The fact that he turned out to NOT be white changes nothing about their initial assumption about him, how they treated him based upon it, nor mine or yours about the cops' double standards in how they treat suspects they see as white vs. Black or brown.

You want to have a convo about how you can't tell a person's DNA or country of origin from a quick glance? Fine, but that's a different conversation.

Wanna talk about common sense gun laws and the GOP's PATHOLOGICAL resistance to them? Legit conversation to have. Desperately needed.

But don't. be. gaslit.

Author's Edit:

There is debate about whether Syrians are white, and of course it's critical to note there is a spectrum of skin tone across all ethnicities and races. 96% of Syrians check "White" on the U.S. Census, and this is worth its own nuanced discussion. The fact remains that while this man in particular was taken alive after he shot up an entire grocery store, an American of European descent looking at the same man's name on a resumé would have no problem denying him an interview based on the sound of it.

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