Fox News anchors tried to goad the police chief of St. Cloud, Minnesota, into blaming immigrants for crimes in the country. However, he refused to play their game.
Chief William Blair Anderson was invited to talk on “Fox & Friends” on Monday about a Saturday evening knife attack at a mall at St. Cloud, which resulted in eight people injured and the attacker — 22-year-old Kenyan-born Somali Dahir Adan — dead.
Although ISIS claimed Adan was an agent working on their behalf, his father said he “no suspicion” that his son was affiliated with the terrorist organization.
The Fox team tried to extend the blame for Adan’s actions to the Somali community residing in St. Cloud and played Donald Trump’s clipping in which he called for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
“Do you share his concern about who is coming into the country?” asked cohost Steve Doocy.
However, rather than rise to the bait, Anderson replied, “Well, first of all, my job is public safety. It's not immigration policy. I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and you know, now is not the time for us to be divisive. We already have a very cohesive community, and I expect that this will draw us even closer together. But at the end of the day, our job is public safety, period.”
When pressed by the issue by co-host Ainsley Earhardt, who said Minnesota “leads the nation in the number of people who have left or sought to leave the country to go and fight terrorism,” and asked him how he dealt with Somali community there, the police chief answered: “We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community. You know, we meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause.”
St. Cloud's population of 66,297 is about 10 percent Somali. Even so, the city has built a reputation for being Islamophobic. Somali properties have been vandalized, a plan to build a mosque has been stalled and Somali kids are being viciously bullied at school.
However, Think Progress reports there is no proof that a growing Somali population in St. Cloud has resulted in increased crimes. In fact, since the Somalis started residing in the community in larger numbers more than a decade ago, the city’s crime rate has steadily declined.