The May 21 Sunday Star Tribune has John LaDue posing for a Tribune photographer on the front page. There is no mug shots of LaDue in his orange jumpsuit, but a photo of him in street clothes posing as he looks off into the distance. The Tribune never treated the nine Somali American men who are guilty of lesser crimes than LaDue in this manner.
LaDue, a White male, was caught planning a massacre. He had drawn up a plan to kill his high school classmates, his family, and police. He had a storage locker filled with bomb-making materials, he had already exploded a bomb he made, and his bedroom was filled with guns. If Somali Americans had been caught with a written plot to kill classmates and had bomb-making materials, they would be serving life sentences.
Yet, even with lesser crimes than LaDue, seven Somali American men are serving 10-30 years in prison. One of the nine, Abdullahi Yusuf, who did not get prison time, was removed from a halfway house and put back into custody because he watched a CNN documentary on terrorism. Yusuf has a 20-year supervised release sentence. In the LaDue story, they have a photo of him playing a violent video game where he is shooting people — Hello?!
This White male served only two years and is a completely free man with no supervised release or probation! How is this possible?
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.