Meet Minnesota’s first Somali woman police officer
The Twin Cities has the largest Somali community outside of Somalia, and one Somali woman is one of the latest to be sworn in to a metro area police department.
Kadra Mohammed is one of the first 12 new Metro Transit Police Officers. “I’m excited, definitely excited.” She is the first sworn in female Somali officer in Minnesota and quite possibly the country. “It’s just a step forward, I plan on making more steps forward in my career, so I’m very excited for that.”
Fox 9 first met Kadra over a year ago when St. Paul police hired her to be a community service officer. She was also the second officer in the country to wear a special hijab with her uniform.
Now, she will have a badge and a gun, while she rides Metro Transit buses and trains.
“She represents that large population of Somali women who use transit. I hope when they see her on the train on the bus they feel more comfortable.” Said Chief John Harrington
The first Somali sergeant in the US, Waheid Siraach, who is currently on a leave of absence to train national police back in Somali, awarded Mohammed her badge. “To have first Somali female officer in Minnesota, it’s an historic day for the people of Minnesota and the Somali community.”
Like whispers from the past, or phantom apparitions, a handful of almost unreadable ghost signs can still be found on a scattering of brick buildings in Lowertown Saint Paul.
A ghost sign, or “brickad,” is a hand-painted advertisement. Once bold hucksters, they announced store names, services and products. Some of them were painted over a hundred years ago. Now they are faded, peeled, and bleached from constant exposure to sun and rain, heat and cold. Faint, almost invisible, they have a ghostly ethereal quality that speaks of a different time, before television and the internet.
These muted signs tell the city’s story. They remind us of our heritage and those who came before us, the ones who forged the way into the present.
#BlackBrunchMN Today in St. Paul, MN we did our first black brunch. There were only about 12 of us but our presence was great! We went to every restaurant, store, coffee shop, etc…that was along our route. We saw so much white uncomfortableness and so much hatred but also occasional moments of support and appreciation. Police were called at most if not all places we went but never showed up until our last location. Ultimately it was a very powerful and energizing action that hopefully woke some of the white community up. I have a feeling it won’t be long until #BlackBrunchMN is stirring things up again. Shoutout to stayw0ke for helping me organize this event and actjustly for leading chants and always showing mad love and support. Follow our organization, The Black Liberation Project, on twitter @blklibmn to see what else we are up to.