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Reacting to the arrests in the death of cab driver Abdukadir Filanwaa

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Police made two arrests in the death of Somali cab driver Abdukadir Filanwaa, but community leaders say the homicide has shaken up the community.

Ahmed Alamine, the imam and director of the Indianapolis Muslim Community Association, said, “Knowing this was a cab driver, every cab driver is worried, every Uber driver is worried. I have actually heard of some who are thinking about stopping driving Uber, or driving cab, just for their safety.”

Alamine said this senseless crime has shaken many who share Filanwaa’s profession.

“The outcome is the same. It could be robbery. It could be just a crime,” Alamine said. “But what matters to me at this time is we lost this person and we will never have them back in our community.”

This death has been particularly difficult for many because he was leaving a war-torn country for a better life.

“For someone who ran away and fled violence and crimes and war, just for him to die in Indianapolis,” Alamine said. “It was considered to be a safe place. He had been living here for almost 25 years. Nothing happened to him. But the way we see the trajectory of crimes in the city, it is so alarming.”

He said the community came together with the police to help solve this crime. He notes without people willing to listen this problem will only grow.

“This person was not just a statistic or should not always be a statistic,” Alamine said. “He is not a hashtag. He was a human being and he was loved and he loved.”

Alamine said prevention starts with open dialogue.

“We need to start talking to one another, regardless of our faith. We need to have an open and honest conversation about the structural issues,” Alamine said. “Most of the time, we talk about the symptoms. We don’t talk about the root cause.”

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