Ibn Ali won the respect of the Internet after the 27-year-old father of five was captured on video breaking up a fight between two teenage boys, and on Wednesday (March 22) the brave and good Samaritan was honored by Atlantic City, NJ’s city council for his actions. Ali thanked God while holding a plaque, and then tearfully thanked his mother who along with press, attended the ceremony.
“When I was young I grew up in the projects,” Ali said. “When I would get on punishment she would make me read books. I’m crying because this whole situation deeply saddens me. The fact that it’s unbelievable. This should be very believable. This should be a norm and it should be regular.”
As the two young men exchanged blows in the middle of the street for reasons unknown at the time, many stood on the sidewalk recording with their phones. Ali was seen walking in between the two to stop the fight, and then pointed out their anger was everyone else’s entertainment.
“Everybody with your phones out? All ya’ll? Ya’ll the real cowards! Record that too,” Ali said.
Ali continued to speak to the two teens and wouldn’t leave until they shook hands. His friend Ramal Ford told NBC10 when he saw the video he wasn’t shocked at all by his friend’s actions.
“What he did was pretty indicative of what I’ve come to know from him as a person,” Ford said. “I applaud him. He understood how to deescalate the situation and sometimes it’s just the right words.”
Ali concluded his heartfelt speech by thanking the teen’s parents. Although they intended to fight, after speaking to both of them Ali realized words can penetrate.
“I want to thank the people who raised these young men as well,” Ali said. “Because they raised them to be young men of reason which seems to be a very, very rare trait in today’s youth.”