Posted by Arab American Institute on August 13, 2016 in Blog
At this tragic time, our thoughts are with the family of Khalid Jabara. We will continue to work to ensure justice is done in Khalid’s name.
Sadly, hate crimes against Arab Americans, American Muslims or those perceived to be are becoming all too common. We call upon our nation’s leaders and those who seek to lead our nation to reject xenophobia in all its forms. We cannot give any quarter to those who seek to divide us by race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
Jabara Family Statement:
August 15, 2016
On Friday night, our world was shattered when our brother, Khalid Jabara, was murdered on the front porch of our family home. The perpetrator was not unknown to us—he is our neighbor—someone whom we continuously brought to law enforcement’s attention. He killed our brother while awaiting trial for running over our mother, resulting in a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs amongst other injuries. Only 30 minutes prior to my brother’s shooting, Khalid called the police stating this man had a gun and that he was scared for what might happen. The police came and told him there was nothing to be done. Minutes later, the suspect murdered our brother with four shots.
My family lived in fear of this man and his hatred for years. Yet in May, not even one year after he ran over our mother and despite our repeated protests, he was released from jail with no conditions on his bond—no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing.
This suspect had a history of bigotry against our family. He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments. He often called us “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” “Aye-rabs,” and “Mooslems”—a fact highlighted by the Tulsa Police Department who also heard these comments from the suspect. The suspect’s bigotry was not isolated to us alone. He made xenophobic comments about many in our community -- “filthy Mexican” and the “n” word were all part of his hateful approach to anyone from a different background.
Today, in our pain, we are also keenly aware that this is not just another murder to be added to crime statistics. Our brother’s death could have been prevented. This man was a known danger. He intentionally tried to kill our mother less than one year ago when he ran her over with his car. Based on his racist comments towards us, he should have been charged with a hate crime then. He should not have been released without monitoring. Yet he was released and put back next door to us, the family he assaulted just months before. This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes.
Our brother Khalid was just 37 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. He was a kind spirit, loving brother, uncle and son. Khalid’s heart was big. He cared for our entire family, our friends and people he didn’t even know. He created every Jabara family joke and filled our lives with love and laughter. All of that has been taken away from us by this hateful man and a system that failed to protect our community.