Alleged shooter Kori Ali Muhammad
Kori Ali Muhammad, accused of killing three White men in Fresno, Calif., will undergo a psych evaluation before arraignment on those and other charges in a previous shooting. The accused has a troubled past and previous concern about mental issues in court cases.
He is scheduled to return to court May 12.
Let Black people go with reparations, the 39-year-old yelled out in court on April 21, as his attorney Eric Christensen of the Public Defender s Office was asking Judge W. Kent Hamlin to delay the hearing so he could be tested. He may not be mentally competent to proceed with the case, said his lawyer, who referred to him as Kori Taylor Muhammad, per court documents. He was arrested for the April 18 shooting of three White men at random according to police, a Pacific Gas & Electric worker sitting in a truck and two men who had come out of a Catholic Charities building, said the Associated Press. He was charged April 21 with the killing of an unarmed security guard Carl Williams at a Motel 6 a week earlier. Authorities have said the Williams killing was the first of four by Mr. Taylor Muhammad.
Police have said he told them that learning he was wanted for the Williams killing spurred him to try to kill as many White people as possible before he was caught.
Pastors and church leaders from the Pastor Clusters of the Fresno/Clovis area met outside Catholic Charities in Fresno, Calif., during a prayer walk vigil for the three victims of Tuesday s shooting, on April 20. David Jackson, 58, who was one of the alleged victims of Kori Ali Muhammad, was shot and killed outside Catholic Charities. Mark Gassett, 37, had just picked up groceries at a Catholic Charities building when Muhammad allegedly shot him in the chest, and fired twice more after he fell to make sure he was dead. Photo: AP/Wide World Photo
Mr. Taylor Muhammad fired 17 rounds in less than two minutes, police said. Officers with help from acoustic sensors posted in the area arrested him less than five minutes after the rampage began. Police say he surrendered when confronted by officers.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin assigned a doctor to examine Mr. Taylor Muhammad s mental state. Judge Hamlin set bail at $2.6 million. The accused is facing one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. After allegedly murdering Carl Williams, III and attempting to murder another guard, Oscar Menjivar on April 13, Mr. Taylor Muhammad allegedly went on a one minute shooting rampage, killing Mark Gassett, David Jackson and Zack Randalls, all White men. He shot at a fourth, but missed, according to police. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has called the shootings random acts of race hatred, not terrorist attacks. His conclusions stem from posts on Mr. Taylor Muhammad s social media accounts, said officials. Based on Mr. Taylor Muhammad saying Alli Akbar, police contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigations and will be working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to locate the origin of the gun, he said. Chief Dyer said Mr. Taylor Muhammad threw the weapon away after the April 18 shooting and shortly before being arrested. Was the same weapon used in the Williams shooting? The Final Call asked Detective David Madrigal via email. There was no reply. He directed questions to the Fresno County District Attorney s Office.
More charges were expected to be filed. It could be a death penalty case, because of the number of victims, defense attorney Christensen said. After meeting for about five minutes with his client April 21, Atty. Christensen told The Final Call, the accused was relatively calm and generally polite.
Just after that brief conversation, it was clear to me that there may be some mental issues involved, said Atty. Christensen, who added he s handled mental health cases for over 30 years. In 2005, lawyers in a federal criminal case found Mr. Taylor Muhammad unfit to stand trial due to mental deficiency.
According to Gun Violence Archive, an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,000 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources, there were 104 mass shootings in the U.S. as of April 21.
You can t look at this brother s situation, and separate it from the larger society which uses violence as a way to resolve its issues, said Davey D, a hip hop journalist, talk show host and activist.
For a long time, people have spoken about the importance of deescalation, conflict resolution, and other means to resolve touchy situations, but not anywhere else, he said.
We don t want to do it in Syria. We don t want to do it in North Korea. We don t want to do it with the police departments when they re brutalizing us. In fact, they want to ratchet things up, Davey D said.
You don t want to do that with undocumented folks. We want to put down the hammer. We want to hit hard. We pride ourselves on it. We sing songs about it. We glorify it. We romanticize it, and, so, when you have somebody who, if we follow the reports, had a hatred and acted on that hatred, we shouldn t be surprised, he told The Final Call. There are plenty of examples, from Dylan Roof, who slaughtered innocent Black churchgoers in South Carolina to the some 500 mass school shootings in the past 15 years or so, said the writer and analyst.
If this brother had shot three Black people in a fit of rage, we would have heard stories about Black-on-Black crime. Nothing really would have been done. If we said mental health challenges, we would have had society say, Well, he needs to be more responsible, Davey D added.
Alleged shooter Kori Ali Muhammad
Black sell-outs would be on TV blaming parents and preachers, but now, it s viewed a bit more differently, and people want to punish an entire community, he argued.
Automatically, the false narrative becomes Mr. Taylor Muhammad is probably one of those Nation of Islam people, and oh, what does Farrakhan say? said Davey D. The anger, chaos and confusion sweeping across America is certainly not unusual, nor to be unexpected, observed Demetric Muhammad, a student minister in the Nation of Islam in Memphis, Tenn., researcher and author.
When I first heard about the shootings, I thought here we go once again where the Nation of Islam and its teachings are dragged into a scenario of violence to hopefully connect the episode of violence to the ideas and the teachings of the Nation of Islam, Min. Demetric Muhammad stated.
There have been prior attempts. For instance, during coverage of the April 19, 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing by White Christian Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, KABC talk radio station erroneously reported that a member of the Nation of Islam took credit for the bombing, even though it cautioned that the claim might have been a crank call, recalled Terry Muhammad, coordinator for the Nation of Islam Study Group in Oklahoma City, Okla.
I was on my way to the bakery I laughed to myself, I said we don t do stuff like that, he said. Other news outlets reported, then retracted the early and false report. Micah Xavier Johnson, described as a troubled Afghanistan War veteran, allegedly killed five officers and injured nine others last July 7 in Dallas. Police said he was upset about Black Lives Matter, police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. And Philando Castille in the Falcon Heights suburb of Minnesota. Police used a bomb attached to a robot to kill him.
Is he connected to Public Enemy because he had a fan picture that thousands of people have standing next to Professor Griff? They wanted to know who his daddy knew? Who his mama knew? All that sort of stuff, but we didn t have that when Dylan Roof slaughtered nine people in South Carolina, Davey D observed.
We didn t go, what music is he listening to? What did his preacher say? We didn t have any of those conversations, so there s a double standard in terms of how things are accepted and not accepted, but more importantly, I think we have a problem with society and general violence, and there s a rationale for that violence depending on where you sit.
Compare how they re reacting to him versus the White boy that came up from Baltimore and killed the older Black guy in New York City and said he was hunting. Most people couldn t even tell you his name, Davey D continued.
Twenty-eight-year-old James Harris Jackson, a Caucasian, U.S. Army vet, hated Black men since he was a kid and was bent on killing a Black man, media reported. Police said he took a bus from Washington to New York, picked at random, and March 22 fatally stabbed Timothy Caughman, a 66-year-old Black man, with a sword, according to police. According to CNN Newswire, Mr. Taylor Muhammad was indicted in 2005 on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of two rifles and a semi-automatic handgun, according to federal court documents. After a psychiatric evaluation, he was found not competent to stand trial in July 2005.
His public defender at the time raised questions about whether Muhammad was mentally fit to stand trial, according to court records. He appeared eccentric with some bizarre beliefs and appeared to have hallucinations, and he had at least two mental health hospitalizations, court records show. In June 2006, Muhammad was found competent to stand trial. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 110 months in prison, which was later reduced to 92 months. ABC News reported that the accused told investigators that he hid out in a ravine and practiced voodoo rituals after the Motel 6 slayings. He also told investigators he is Muslim, but he prays to seven different gods and hasn t been to a mosque in 25 years.
Muhammad is really an honorific title in Islam. It s more than just a name. It is a title that designates someone who is commendable or who commits praiseworthy actions, Min. Demetric Muhammad said.
It is proven that the Nation of Islam has a long history of not only being a peaceful community of people, but social activism and stopping crime, he said. We re not a carnal army. We re not to carry weapons. Our Restrictive Laws of Islam say we are to be kind and do good to all. It says obey those in authority and even nonbelievers in authority over you, he said. Members of the Nation can be put out of the community for carrying weapons and are forbidden to commit acts of violence on self or others.
(Final Call staffers and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)
The Chimney Hill chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its March meeting recently at the Ada Arts and Heritage facility. Regent Myrtie Clarke and acting Chaplain Linda Hebert opened the meeting. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ruth Ann Taylor. Ruth Franks led The Star-Spangled Banner and was accompanied by Rita Floyd on the piano. Jean Kelley led the Oklahoma flag salute. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution was led by Carol Meyer, and the American Creed was led by Arletta Good. The president general s message was read by Myrtie Clarke. President General Ann Turner Dillon said one of her favorite issues of the year is the one dedicated to Women s History Month. She reported on several women who fostered the cause of women s rights. She also saluted the U.S. Mint, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. She ended her message by wishing a happy spring to all.
The secretary s and treasurer s reports were e-mailed to members, and there are a few hard copies available at the meeting. A motion to accept the reports was made and seconded. The motion was approved. The registrar report was given by registrar Marian Paniague, who reported that there are three prospective members this month, which are Rena Scarbough, Binnie Wilson and Barbara Wilson. There was a member verified this month, Dana Hall Jordan, and there is also one name in review, Reta Boggs. The national defense report on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard was given by Carol Meyer. The Coast Guard is an amalgamation of five formally distinct federal services. On Aug. 7, 1789, the US Lighthouse Service was established under the control of the Treasury Department. On Aug. 4, 1790, Congress authorized the secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce custom laws and inspect vessels.
President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Act to Create the Coast Guard on Jan. 28, 1915. By 1949 the Coast Guard was under the Navy Department, then the Treasury Department in 1946; then transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation in 1967; then transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003. The Indian Minutes report from Mary Pfeffer detailed the Indian Youth of America (IYA), a non-profit charitable Indian service organization. It began in the summer of 1976 with an intertribal youth camp held on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. IYA has branched out to serve Indian youth and families on both local and national levels through a number of programs and activities. IYA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Native American children and serves these children through its resource center, scholarship assistance and sponsorship of students to leadership programs and sporting events, as well as the major focus on the Intertribal Summer Youth Camp Program. Camps are held in Arizona and South Dakota each summer, where campers experience a variety of cultural, educational, and recreational activities under the guidance of Indian counselors and staff. Special guests also share their songs, dances, stories, and cultural traditions. IYA was incorporated in 1978 and has its main office in Sioux City, Iowa. In the Conservation Minutes report, Janet Gibson reported on wildlife. She reported that some wild plants are wanted in our gardens and yards and some are not. She talked about redbud trees, holly bushes and butterfly plants, which are decorative and beneficial, but we do not like poison ivy and their family. She reminded us that it is time to plant the wanted varieties. She also talked about good wildlife, like rabbits and birds, but none of us want skunks in our yards and gardens.
The Veterans Report was given by Ruth Ann Taylor. Good news! We have raised enough money for two domino tables for the Sulphur Veteran Center. The tables will be ordered this week and should be at the center in about one month. The next visit to the center will be March 15th. The check for the tables will be presented to the center on this day. The programs section featured The Battle of Kings Mountain. Norma Reid from The Black Bead Chapter of DAR in Norman was the guest speaker. She has ties to Ada, being a graduate of Roff High School and East Central University, where she met her husband. She began by saying that Thomas Jefferson said the Battle of Kings Mountain changed the tide of the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Kings Mountain was between the patriot and the loyalist militias in South Carolina during the Southern campaign of the war. Kings Mountain is nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. British Major Patrick Ferguson was ordered to raise a loyalist militia and protect the flank of Lord Cornwallis main force. The British gave the loyalists rifles and bayonets but not uniforms. Ferguson wrote a letter to patriot leader Isaac Shelby and other militia leaders to lay down their arms or he would lay waste to their country with fire and sword. In response the patriot leader Shelby, McDowell, and Campbell and others rallied an attack. Receiving intelligence on the upcoming attack Ferguson decided to stay on Kings Mountain. The battle began on Dec. 7, 1780, four and one half years into the war, and it lasted one hour. Patrick Ferguson rode his horse and blew a whistle for his men to attack the patriot forces coming up the mountain. He continued until he was shot and killed, after which his men surrendered. The loyalist forces had 225 men killed and 165 wounded while the patriot forces had 28 killed and 60 wounded. When the loyalist militia was destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon his plan to invade North Carolina and retreated to South Carolina. In 1898, the Kings Mountain Chapter DAR launched a campaign to acquire the battlefield, and in 1931 Congress established The Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Ruth Ann Taylor the Kiamichi County district director has visited seven of the nine chapters in our district and plans on visiting the other two soon. She gave a program on Martha Washington to three of the chapters. She reported that at our district conference in April, we will be doing basket giveaways, and that Tammy Hinton of the McAlester chapter has taken care of our basket this year. Regent Myrtie Clarke thanked the chapter for their donation to the Oklahoma Heart Association. Elaina Bearden announced that the eighth-grade essay winner from our chapter won State. The sixth-grade and 10th grade essay writers won third at the state level, and the fifth grade essay writer placed fourth at state.
The door prize was won by Ruth Ann Taylor. Hostesses for the March meeting are Jean Kelley, Arletta Good, Erna Leach, Marian Paniagua and Linda Leach. Members present: Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Beth Buxton, Myrtie Clarke, Rita Floyd, Mary Ann Frame, Ruth Franks, Joyce Gentry, Janet Gibson, Sue Gonyon, Arletta Good, Linda Gebert, Lou Ann Hoover, Kathy Howry, Jean Kelley, Erna Leach, Ann Maxwell, Marian Paniaguia, Mary Pfeffer, Jerry Wages, and Elizabeth Witherow.
Guests are Norma Reid, Anita Renells and Binnie Wilson.