Sister of teen shot by SLC police reacts to Police Chief’s visit to family

Posted at 9:54 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 23:54:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Abdi Mohamed's family had a chance to see the 17-year-old for the first time Sunday since he was shot by Salt Lake City police Saturday night.

They were accompanied by Interim Police Chief Mike Brown.

“The police chief was crying and he said when he sees Abdi lying on the hospital bed he sees his own kid and he was just crying and apologizing," said Mohamed's sister, Muslima Weledi.

Weledi said the visit by Brown was greatly appreciated, but she also said it doesn't erase the fact that her brother is in the hospital with three gunshot wounds.

“At the end of the day sorry isn’t going to heal him, sorry isn’t going to redo what happened -- what happened did happen, there is nothing we can do to go back and change what happened," Weledi said.

Brown was clear that he wasn't apologizing for officers shooting Mohamed. He stands by their decision. He apologized for what the family now has to go through.

Weledi said she hopes the truth comes out sooner rather than later.

“They said police have body cameras and they are investigating all that, until I hear something back I really don’t have a side I'm choosing right now," Weledi said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Salt Lake City Police Department to release that body camera video to help with community concerns about transparency and accountability.

However, police countered the request saying: "Because the suspect is currently being screened for criminal charges, release of the body camera recording could create a danger of depriving the suspect of a right to a fair trial or impartial hearing."

Police wouldn't say what criminal charges Mohamed is facing, but a law enforcement source did say his Facebook page indicates he is part of the Bloods gang and is also affiliated with drug dealers.

Weledi said her brother was not in a gang. She said he is a good father who was trying to earn his GED while working for a local hotel. She is anxious to speak with him but right now he is unable to talk.

“So we gave him some paper and a pen and it took him a minute to write, ‘I miss you guys,’ and he started crying and after that they had to put him back to sleep and we haven’t seen him since," said Weledi.

Mohamed's sister also asked the community to remain peaceful. She appreciates people showing support for her family, but she said violence against the police is not the answer.