St. Cloud, MN, police chief William Blair Anderson appeared on Monday morning’s episode of Fox News’ Fox & Friends to discuss the horrific stabbing attack that took place on Saturday night at a local shopping center. There, nine people were injured, and the suspected attacker, Somali-born Dahir Adan, was killed by an off-duty police officer. The Islamic State terrirst group claimed credit for the attack, describing Adan as a “soldier” acting “in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”
After playing a clip of Donald Trump’s remarks on immigration into the country, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked whether chief Anderson shared the Republican nominee’s “concern.” But Anderson, whose state is home to the largest Somali community in America, wasn’t about to go along with Doocy’s xenophobic set-up. Instead, he offered an impassioned defense of St. Cloud’s immigrants, rejecting the shows attempts at divisiveness.
“First of all, my job is public safety. It’s not immigration policy,” Anderson explained. “I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and 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.”
Watch the clip from Media Matters, below:
Anderson also defended his town’s outreach to the Somali community, often perceived as closed off to the rest of society. “We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community,” Anderson countered, deflating the sensationalism he was presumably supposed to affirm. “We meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause.”
“It’s one of things that makes St. Cloud a wonderful place to live,” Anderson stated matter-of-factly.
“And I know that might sound corny, but it’s the truth.”