Just several days ago a white man stabbed himself and blamed a “black criminal.”
A security guard from the St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota called for the police to report a shooting. The guard - Patrick Ahlers, 25 y.o. - was shot in the shoulder.
When the police came, Ahlers said that the shooter was still on campus. And he was a “black gunman in a navy blue sweatshirt and black jeans with a short Afro.” St. Paul police were immediately skeptical of the description. Yet, it was their job to search the University and campus up and down. Ahlers himself was taken to Regions Hospital with noncritical injuries.
1,800 students were held captive in their dorm rooms at St. Catherine’s, and residents of the Mac-Groveland and Highland Park communities fearing they would be hurt in their homes.
For several hours 55 police officers and four K-9s, as well as State Patrol aircraft, were looking for the “suspect.” Police conducted a building-by-building search and advised people to stay indoors as they searched for the ‘shooter’. They worked since Tuesday night to Wednesday evening.
They found no one.
And at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday Ahlers told officers that he was in a wooded area of the campus about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. He had brought his personal handgun from home and was handling it when it accidentally discharged, hitting him in the shoulder.
He told police he’d lied and said he made up the story because he was afraid of losing his job because he’d brought a gun to work with him. Police have Ahlers’ gun now.
Meanwhile, black leaders spoke out Thursday morning after news broke that Ahlers had confessed to making up the whole thing.
Dianne Binns, president of the St. Paul NAACP, told the Star Tribune that Ahler’s decision to describe the nonexistent suspect as a black man is rooted in the racism that perpetuated slavery and the oppression of blacks for hundreds of years. “That’s what black people live with,” Binns said. “We’ve been lynched, and we’ve been put in jail to find out later you haven’t done it. That’s the sad thing about it. It hasn’t stopped.”
“It’s a sickening thing,” Tyrone Terrill, president of the St. Paul African-American Leadership Council, told the Tribune. “He put not only black youth at risk; he put St. Paul police and other law enforcement at risk with his lie.”