Peter Dutton Tried To Blame A Teen’s Death On ‘African Gangs’, Experts Say He’s Wrong

Shock: Peter Dutton was wrong.

Peter Dutton Laa Chol

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South Sudanese-Australian teen Laa Chol was killed in a brutal attack at the start of the weekend. By Sunday evening, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had labelled the 19-year-old’s death as part of a “major law and order problem in Victoria”.

“We don’t have these problems with Sudanese gangs in NSW or Queensland,” Dutton told Fairfax over the weekend. “This is a problem largely of pathetic bail laws and Premier [Daniel] Andrews has created this problem.”

Dutton’s warning echoed those voiced by other top Liberal party politicians in recent days: last week, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said there was “real concern about Sudanese gangs” in Melbourne, and Christopher Pyne backed his boss up, even if he did so in a pretty unconvincing way.

Laa Chol’s Tragic Death

According to reports, a group of teenagers had booked out an Airbnb on the 56th floor of a Melbourne CBD complex when a similarly young rival group forced their way into the unit.

Neighbours later heard “horrendous screaming” and paramedics were called, only to later announce that Chol had died on the scene from injuries related to an assault.

Chol’s family has come out and said that she had no connection to any gangs.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without her,” Chol’s mother, Ojwanga Abalo, told News Corp. “Just whenever you saw her, it was a happy moment.”

Chol had been hoping to become a lawyer.

What Are The Experts Saying?

Commander Stuart Bateson, who leads Victoria Police’s African-Australian community taskforce, told 3AW that the death was not linked to any established gangs.

“It’s not related to ethnicity, we’ve seen murders occur in similar circumstances ever since I’ve been in the police force,” Bateson said. “This is not to do with warring factions. The suggestion that Laa Chool, the victim, was a member of a gang is just not true.”

Bateson also noted that the divisive debate about African gangs was encouraging racist behaviour in Victoria.

“Just over the weekend we had an incident where a man of African heritage was with his ten-year-old son and was abused and threatened, just walking along the street,” Bateson said.

Conservative talkback radio personality Neil Mitchell added that “what Peter Dutton said overnight is just wrong.”

Victorian premier Andrews stopped short of criticising Dutton for his comments about a gang crisis.

“I don’t think [Chol’s] family will be getting much comfort from this conversation,” he said to ABC Radio on Monday morning.

He noted that the issue was more about violence targeting women rather than violence conducted by young African-Australian immigrants.

Everyone Is Mad

On Twitter, some believe that high-profile politicians like Dutton are taking advantage of a tragic event to further a political agenda ahead of a handful of crucial federal by-elections.

Many focussed on how they’re more scared of white men than they are of African-Australians.

Last week, Waleed Aly presented a scathing segment on The Project that criticised the prime minister for what Aly believed was a crude attempt to win votes.

“The truth is, I don’t think the PM know something that we don’t,” Aly said. “I think the government is facing the Super Saturday elections next week, and to put it crudely, they want to appear tough on Sudanese migrants despite the fact those migrants are responsible for just one percent of crime, because being tough on that community wins votes in this country.”