Rep. Ilhan Omar said there is more violence in Minnesota than the massive African refugee camp she lived in before coming to the United States.
Speaking at a “Gun Violence Community Conversation” late last week at Minneapolis North High School, Omar recalled witnessing violence during the Somali Civil War but claimed she did not see similar levels during her time at the Dadaab refugee camp in neighboring Kenya.
“For six years, I had the privilege of not seeing any violence, until I moved to Minnesota,” Omar said, according to the Daily Mail.
“My first year in Minnesota, I both saw a person shot at Peavey Park, dead on the floor, three weeks after my father and I arrived in Minneapolis. Six months later, I watched the Minneapolis police put 38 bullets into the body of a mentally disabled Somali immigrant who didn’t speak English,” she added.
Omar has previously described the refugee camp as a “hostile,” “survival of the fittest” place where she learned “what death looked like,” the Daily Mail reported.
“I know what that kind of violence looks like, but I was fortunate enough to flee that and seek refuge in a refugee camp for four years where I did not witness that kind of violence,” Omar said during the town hall.
Minneapolis recorded nearly 100 homicides last year; this year has begun even worse, with 45 homicides thus far.
During the town hall, the congresswoman also praised new gun control legislation that President Joe Biden signed into law June 24.
The Star Tribune reported that Omar expressed outrage over the historic Supreme Court decision sending Roe v. Wade and abortion rights back to the states and called for eradicating the Senate filibuster.
Omar, who was jeered over the weekend at a Somali music event in downtown Minneapolis, fled her native country as a child and lived for four years in a Kenyan refugee camp awaiting asylum in the U.S. before eventually settling in the Twin Cities.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.