The father of Edmonton’s first homicide victim of this year, made an emotional plea to the police commission Thursday. He’s upset at the apparent lack of progress in the homicide file.
“I want to know, who killed my son?” said Ahmed Mohamed. Abdikadir Mohamed, 25, died in hospital nearly a week after being shot in downtown at a lounge near 93 Street & 111 Avenue in the early morning hours of New Years morning.
Mohamed’s frustration comes from the claim that tips, in the way of information has been passed on to homicide detectives. However deputy chief Brian Simpson said it’s not as simple as that.
“Having the information and then having the ability to then prove that information is the next step. Is that information hearsay, is it third party, is it witnessed? Then what’s the relevance to what the information is. It can get very technical unfortunately. I can understand the frustration because a lot of people see what happens on TV and other elements. That’s not our world. Each step of the way we have to get it right, we don’t get a chance to come back after the fact.”
Critics of the EPS have said that they don’t act as quickly on these files as others because of a lack of cooperation from the Somali community. No one seems to come forward. Simpson said they have, and police work just as hard to clear the case, as they would any file.
“It’s no different than any other,” Simpson told reporters. “If you look at our stats, the rates of arrests and solves are fairly close in terms of numbers. But numbers don’t count if you’re a family member and you don’t have resolution, I absolutely understand that. But no, the same diligence, the same energy, every policing technique we have goes to every file. It’s just the opportunity and what the evidence is and where it takes us in that solve process.”
The commission heard not much has changed over the years when it comes to the public’s perception of Edmonton police. A citizens satisfaction survey given to the Edmonton Police Commission says 94% of all respondents had confidence in the EPS, up 1% from the 2014.
“We’re seeing a lot of the issues that citizens identify remaining the same over the years,” said Andrew Lejeune, a strategic analyst with the service. “So we’re looking at concerns with traffic, they want to see more officers out on the street, they want to have better communication with their police officers.”
The survey was done prior to a string where we saw a murder a day in March, so Lejeune said it likely didn’t colour people’s perception of crime. “There was a spike in people in 2011, who did feel that Edmonton was a little more unsafe than other Canadian cities, so we did see a jump in those numbers,” he said refering back to the last time Edmonton had a high murder rate.
Mohamed agreed to meet with a commission outreach staff member to follow up on his concerns, because he’s worried the culprits are still out there and some one else could be in danger.
“They’re killing somebody else. We need that justice.”