On February 27, 2014, 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif was found unresponsive at the bottom of the St. Louis Park Middle School swimming pool. Two days later, he was removed from life support and passed away. Abdullahi’s inexplicable death has caused his family untold anguish as they have searched for some explanation as to how this tragedy could have possibly occurred. Yesterday, that tragedy was compounded, as Abdullahi’s family learned there will be no accountability in the criminal justice system for his death.
After investigations by both the St. Louis Park Police Department and Independent School District #283, followed by an evaluation of the case by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, a decision has been made that no criminal charges will be brought in connection with Abdullahi’s drowning. This decision has been made despite the fact that no one has yet explained how Abdullahi was able to sink to the bottom of the deep end of the pool and drown without being detected by those responsible for his safety.
Abdullahi’s family wants justice, but just as importantly, they want to know how this could possibly have happened. The investigations to-date have provided no answers, but Abdullahi’s family is determined to get those answers and to hold accountable those who caused this drowning to occur. They cannot accept that “accidents happen,” under circumstances such as these. A tragedy like the death of a child in a middle-school swim class should simply never be allowed to happen.
Abdullahi’s family members appreciate the support they have received from the community – and also from well-wishers all around the world – as they have struggled to make sense of a death that cannot be explained. They request that anyone with information about this incident come forward, especially those who have not been interviewed by the police or school district. Please contact Fred Pritzker or Eric Hageman at 612-338-0202 with any information about this matter.