By Billy Johnson and Nicole Thompson
The Ryersonian has obtained screenshots of remarks made by Zidane Mohamed condoning the killing in December of two New York police officers.
Mohamed is Unite Ryerson’s candidate for vice-president for education in the upcoming Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) election.
“Is it bad of me that I applaud the killing of the two cops in NYC?” Mohamed posted to his Facebook page shortly after the shooting.
Mohamed posted a similar message to his 383 followers on Twitter.
“Cops got killed? Good. It’s a false flag operation resulting in cops dying? Good. #Brooklyn,” the tweet said.
He made these comments before announcing his candidacy.
Asked Wednesday whether he stood by his comments, Mohamed said he made them during what he described had been an emotional time for him.
The shooting of the officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in New York came amid a period of high racial tension in the U.S. after several unarmed black men and boys were killed by police across the country.
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“The killing of all these innocent black people was very hard for me because I also suffer from racial profiling,” Mohamed said. “I categorically, unequivocally condemn the use of violence in any situation and the harm of innocent people.”
Mohamed’s Twitter and Facebook posts are set to private. A Ryersonian reporter, who was Facebook friends with Mohamed at the time of the posting, was able to see the comment.
After The Ryersonian saw the Facebook post and spoke with Mohamed, a reporter approached Cormac McGee, who is a member of Transform RU, the group opposing Unite Ryerson in the upcoming election. McGee condemned Mohamed’s remarks.
“To say that you that you support someone being murdered is pretty shocking,” McGee said.
He also said it was unprofessional of Mohamed to post those comments on social media.
I categorically, unequivocally condemn the use of violence in any situation and the harm of innocent people – Mohamed
It is yet to be seen whether the comments will influence the RSU elections, the first in years with Unite Ryerson facing an organized opposition.
But Neil Thomlinson, an associate professor of politics and public administration who closely follows the RSU, said that students should care about Mohamed’s comments.
“The electors have a right to know the views of candidates for elected office … both good and bad,” Thomlinson said in an email.
Polls for the election open Feb. 9 and close Feb. 11. The first debate takes place Feb. 2 in the Tecumseh Lounge in the Student Centre.
A Facebook user has posted a screenshot of the tweet Mohamed made Dec. 20, 2014 on the group “Accepted – Ryerson University, Class of 2018.”