While Monroe police said there’s no “distinct evidence” the city’s latest drive-by shooting involving bullets into a home with no injuries is a hate crime, the violence is concerning to the Cincinnati chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Someone fired three shots around 11 p.m. Monday into a Muslim family’s home on Stone Ridge Lane, narrowly missing two members of the family inside, according to Sana Hassan, CAIR-Cincinnati staff attorney and spokesperson for the family. She said the family believes they may have been targeted because they displayed lights outside the house marking the month-long fast of Ramadan that began Monday.
Three family members also wear Islamic head scarves, or hijab, Hassan said.
In early April, police said multiple shots were fired on two occasions into a home in the 400 block of Brandon Drive, less than two miles from the most recent incident. No one was injured in either incident. Police have said the drive-by shootings were targeting a specific person who lived in that house.
“We are urging the Monroe Police Department to seriously consider the possibility of a bias motive for this attack,” Hassan said in a news release.
On Wednesday, Monroe police officer Joshua King said the department is continuing to investigate the shooting, though he declined to classify it as a hate crime. Hassan said she was “very disappointed” when she read King’s comments.
She said the three shots fired into the back of the home were “an intentional, targeted attack.” She said it’s no coincidence the shooting occurred on Monday, the first day of Ramadan, “a time of celebration, a time of peace, a time of reflection and a time for worship.”
“A clear message was sent here,” Hassan said.
While the parents were away at the time of the shooting, their two daughters, both in their 20s, were home, Hassan said. She added that the daughters are “extremely terrified,” they are unable to eat and they don’t want their parents to leave the house because they fear for their lives.
“They have suffered severe emotional and psychological trauma,” Hassan said of the daughters.
She said shootings like these that allegedly target minorities “instill fear in all Muslims.”
Hate-motivated incidents in the southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky region since late February include an attack on a mosque in Dayton, a physical attack on a Muslim woman in Kettering, and a Muslim man strangled by his supervisor at work in Northern Kentucky, according to the press release from the group.
CAIR-Cincinnati is also calling on elected officials and other community leaders to speak out against the propagation of hate and bias in our communities.
“Hate speech can and often does lead to hate crimes,” Hassan said. “These types of incidents are becoming more and more prevalent throughout society and there needs to be a concerted effort toward education about and prevention of hate crimes.
The Monroe Police Department is asking any residents in that area with information to call 513-539-9234.
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