He wouldn’t bash the local Somali community
Last Saturday, an alleged ISIS supporter wounded at least eight people in a stabbing attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The perpetrator of the attack was Dahir Adan, a Somali immigrant, who was fatally shot by an off-duty policeman. Yesterday morning, St. Cloud’s Police Chief William Blair Anderson was on Fox & Friends to discuss the attack when its hosts prodded him to play into their anti-immigrant paranoia.
Before discussing the attack with Anderson, the show played a clip of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tying the stabbing spree into his anti-immigrant platform. “Do you share his concern about who is coming into the country?” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy asked Anderson. “My job is public safety. It’s not immigration policy,” Anderson replied, not taking Doocy’s bait. “I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and now is not the time for us to be divisive. We already have a very cohesive community, and I expect that this will draw us even closer together. But at the end of the day, our job is public safety, period.”
The show’s co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, continued to press the issue with Anderson by positioning the Somali community as a threat to local safety. “How do you fight this?” Earhardt asked. “Because it’s a mentality that they’re learning, many of them, behind closed doors.” Again, Anderson responded without playing into the host’s anti-immigrant fear-mongering. “We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community,” Anderson said. “We meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause. It’s one of things that makes St. Cloud a wonderful place to live, and I know that might sound corny, but it’s the truth. We have established and maintained a very good rapport with our East African community and our community at large.”