Before he signed with WWE, Mustafa Ali spent four years working for the police department in Homewood, Illinois. In an interview for Sports Illustrated, Mustafa Ali (real name Adeel Alam) discusses Black Lives Matter and his time as an officer.
Justin Barrasso opens the interview by noting that Mustafa Ali didn’t want to comment at first. Ali felt that he wasn’t the right person to comment on this sensitive but important topic. However, he changed his mind after conversations with some of his black colleagues. He said he came to understand that when you have a chance to speak, you have a chance to change someone’s mind.
He began his statement with this:
“As a former police officer, I can look you in the eye and tell you with zero hesitation that George Floyd was not just killed by the police. He was murdered by the police.”
“I had joined the police department because I truly believed that, at its core, the police officer profession was a noble one. To protect and to serve, to lay your life down to protect the innocent. What could be nobler than that? I was well aware of all the problems that the police department had with the community, and I was aware that it needed change. I thought the best way to bring change to the police department [was] from within. That’s why I joined.”
Mustafa Ali Discusses Black Lives Matter, His Time With Police & More
Noble as his intent was, he now recognizes the fault in his earlier sentiment –
“The earliest forms of the police department in this country were put together to capture runaway slaves. So the system is doing exactly what it’s meant to do. It’s not here to help anyone, it’s here to hunt them.”
“The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t something that happened overnight. It’s not something over the murder of one black man. This is 400 years of [black people] getting shoved and hit and kicked and spit on and murdered and raped, insulted and degraded, and killed. This is 400 years of that. The Black Lives Matter movement is essential to the survival of every Black man and woman in this country. Yeah, there’s going to be that permanent scar there. The only way to really repair that relationship is a massive change. And yes, it starts with the police.”
Read the whole interview here
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