Man severely beaten in May says he forgives assailantsby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The African-American man severely beaten in May by a group of young Somalis says he's ready to forgive, but will never forget what was done to him. And now, he's at the center of an effort to bridge the divide between African Americans and Somalis in the Twin Cities.
Edwin Daniel -- who was unarmed -- tried to stop the group from harassing the cashier at a gas station where he was a frequent customer. At the same place a few days later, the men were waiting for him with baseball bats.
Daniel suffered a fractured skull, memory loss and more. But on Tuesday he spoke at a meeting between African-Americans and Somalis aimed at healing a longstanding rift.
Daniel said he hopes the violence will spark constructive dialogue, and he holds no grudges.
"As far as being angry at a whole race of people, I can't do that because I'll be a bitter old man," Daniel said.
However, Daniel does say one man sentenced received too light a punishment -- six months behind bars.
The violence heightened tensions between the communities, but the Reverend Devin Miller with the anti-violence group God Squad said it provides an opportunity for constructive dialogue.
"It was important that we forge some sort of relationship not always based on incident, but based on who we are as a people, as an African people, and how do we benefit from one another being here," Miller said.