White Student, Charged in Brutal Beating That Left Black Minneapolis Teaching Aide on Life Support, Released Without Bail

Corey David Burfield
Corey David Burfield
Photo: Hennepin County Jail

Apparently, in Minneapolis, you can beat a person to within an inch of their life and still walk out of jail without posting bail.


At least that’s what happened Thursday when 18-year-old Corey David Burfield was released after District Judge William Koch decided he was not a flight risk.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Burfield is charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault in the brutal beating of Mohammed Dukuly, a paraprofessional at Harrison Education Center, an alternative high school.

Dukuly had to be placed on life support after being left in critical condition. But thankfully, as of Thursday, he no longer needs to be on life support and is sitting up and smiling, and is apparently making a dramatic recovery after being beaten unconscious.

“Thank God!” Dukuly said of his recovery, according to the Tribune. “I don’t know what happened to me. I’m starting to know things for myself. Thank God!”

“We feel like a heavy mountain has been removed from our head,” Imam Dukuly, the victim’s uncle, said. “He can recognize us and we are very excited and grateful to Allah and for the community support. It’s our prayer that the strength we see will continue in his recovery.”

Burfield, for his part, will be kept under electric home monitoring and is to have no contact with Mohammed Dukuly, authorities said. The teen must also meet with a mental health professional within two weeks. Burfield’s mother told the judge that she was able to supervise her son.


Perhaps not surprisingly, Dukuly’s family and friends opposed the judge’s ruling.

“Quite frankly, we are disappointed,” Imam Dukuly added. “For a serious case like this, I think he should’ve been on bail.”


Minneapolis School Superintendent Ed Graff used a Thursday-morning news conference to emphasize the need for mental health support, affordable housing and employment for troubled students.

“My prayers are with Mr. Dukuly and his family, but what we need to talk about is the need we have in our schools,” Graff said. “Many of our students have emotional and behavioral needs and [that] leads to aggression.”


The Tribune notes that Harrison, which is a special education school that offers a highly restricted environment for students with severe behavioral and emotional needs, has seen a number of assaults by students on staff.

The school is currently being reviewed by federal officials, who are making sure that the district is in compliance with special education requirements. Graff said that the school is cooperating with officials.

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