Dayton Apologizes for his Role in Shooting

Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that he has apologized to Muslim leaders for the injuries of two Muslim men in a shooting which is currently being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack, which happened in the early morning of June 29, wounded two young men dressed in Muslim prayer robes. The shooter made several disparaging remarks about Muslims before he opened fire. Three other men escaped harm in the attack.

Dayton had a roughly hour long meeting with Muslim leaders on Tuesday, the last night of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I expressed my sincere apologies for what appears to be another terrible hate crime committed last week,” Dayton said to reporters at a Muslim community center in Bloomington, “Just a senseless random act of violence that is so un-Minnesotan and appalling to all good-minded Minnesotans who are the overwhelming majority.”

Minneapolis police are reportedly looking at the shooting as a possible hate crime, reports the Star Tribune. Data from the FBI reported a total of 1,092 religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States in 2014, the latest available data. Of these crimes, 16.3 percent were anti-Islamic crimes. Anti-Jewish crimes were far and away the most common type of religious hate crime, with 58.2 percent of all such incidents targeting Jews.

In Minnesota there were a total of 15 religiously motivated hate crimes in 2014, 10 of which occurred in Minneapolis. Of all hate crimes in Minnesota, 83 were crimes against persons, and 34 were crimes against property.

Anders Koskinen