On Wednesday, October 19th, Will County Board Member Mica Freeman released a statement on the hate crime that resulted in the death of a 6 year–old boy and hospitalization of his mother.
My district (Plainfield Township) experienced a devastating tragedy this weekend. A six year–old was killed and his mother was left severely injured at the hands of someone they should have been able to trust. Their landlord acted upon deep–rooted hate and bigotry against the Palestinian–American tenants. This unconscionable, detestable act is now being investigated by the FBI as a hate crime.
Wadea Al–Fayoume and his mother, Hanaan Shahin, were at home in the place they should have felt safest. Moreover, they lived in the United States, where everyone should be able to freely practice their religion, celebrate their cultures and traditions, and live their lives free from fear.
It is up to us, as a community, to confront hate and racism. We must welcome all religions, races, identities, and cultures. Our words matter. Our actions matter. Our decisions matter. Even our social media posts matter.
As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East and we recover together from this tragedy, remember that your neighbors might be suffering, mourning, or scared. My prayers are with this family and extend throughout our community.
I encourage you to support one another during this time and feel empowered to report any threatening or suspicious behaviors to local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 or the Will County Sheriff’s Office at (815) 727-8575.
With respect and condolences,