[Ppnews] "Justice" Department clears FBI in imam shooting - Rights groups dismiss probe of Iman’s death

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 13 18:34:50 EDT 2010

2 articles follow

Justice Department clears FBI in imam shooting


Robert Snell / The Detroit News

There were no federal crimes broken when four FBI 
agents killed a Detroit mosque leader during a 
raid last year, according to a U.S. Justice Department report released today.

The report comes almost two weeks after Attorney 
General Mike Cox’s office issued a similar 
finding, saying the agents were justified and 
broke no laws in shooting Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah.

The report comes almost one year after an Oct. 28 
raid at a Dearborn warehouse that ended with 
Abdullah shot 20 times by FBI agents after he 
allegedly fired a weapon and killed an FBI dog.

The gunfire took place during an attempted arrest 
in connection with an indictment involving stolen 
goods and other alleged crimes.

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights 
Thomas E. Perez met with Abdullah’s family today to discuss the findings.

rsnell at detnews.com

 From The Detroit News: 

Rights groups dismiss Cox probe of Iman’s death

Cox rules death justified; U.S. Justice case remains open

By Zenobia Jeffries
Wed, 13 Oct, 2010
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT ­ Michigan may be finished investigating 
the FBI fatal shooting of Detroit Imam Luqman 
Ameen Abdullah, but the federal probe continues and questions remain.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says it is 
continuing investigation of the FBI arrest team 
and its four members who shot Abudllah to death 
Oct. 28, 2009, in a Dearborn warehouse during a sting operation.

Civil rights and justice activists await a real investigation.

Although the DOJ’s office declined to give the 
status or details of its investigation, 
spokesperson Xochiti Hinojosa sent an e-mail 
response to the Michigan Citizen stating, “Our investigation is open.”

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, in his report 
released Sept. 30, concluded that the FBI agents 
involved in the fatal shooting acted in 
self-defense and therefore their “use of deadly 
force ... was legally justified.”

The report states that Abdullah did not comply 
with officers’ orders. Cox’s office will not bring charges.

Cox used the shooting agents’ testimony, along 
with the FBI investigative report, Dearborn 
Police Department investigative report, video and 
audio tapes of the raid, the federal criminal 
complaint obtained by the FBI against Abudllah 
and 10 others, and meetings and interviews with 
the Detroit Police Department, Wayne County 
Medical Examiner and Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, an 
independent pathologist who reviewed the autopsy 
report at the request of the Michigan Council on 
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI).

Both the medical examiner and Wecht determined 
the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

The four agents shot Abdullah a total of 21 times 
­ two of the agents firing six and eight shots 
respectively ­ after releasing an FBI K-9 attack dog on him.

The medical examiner’s report does not identify 
the cause of Abdullah’s facial injuries.

However, Wecht determined that the lacerations 
and abrasions on Abudllah’s face and hands were caused by dog bites.

Cox concluded that the injuries were not dog bites.

The Cox report states, “The Wayne County Medical 
Examiner noted, during the Attorney General 
interview, that Abdullah’s face is lacking 
puncture wounds ­ which are typically found in 
persons who have been subjected to known dog bites.” (See photo)

Phone calls by this newspaper to the medical examiner were not returned.

Cox stated one of the theories of the facial 
wounds indicated the cause as“... the action of 
the slide on the pistol Abdullah was firing 
(extremely close to his face)...” Yet, in another 
section of the report, Cox notes there was no gun 
powder residue on the body, indicating there were no close range shots.

In a telephone interview with this newspaper, 
Wecht called the Assistant Attorney General’s 
telephone interview with him a “perfunctory pro forma.”

“The Assistant Attorney General didn’t seem to be 
too interested [in what I had to say],” Wecht 
said. “For Cox to say the lacerations are from a 
fall ... you don’t get those kinds of [injuries] 
by falling from standing on a flat surface. 
“There’s no way [you] can sustain multiple 
lacerations from falling down ... or sliding on a 
pistol. That’s totally ridiculous. Whatever the 
ultimate conclusions are, are not matters I have addressed.”

Wecht says he was skeptical of any report produced by the AG.

“I no more expected the Michigan Attorney General 
to produce a critical report on the FBI than I 
expect to wake up tomorrow morning with a head 
full of hair on my bald head. The whole thing smells,” Wecht said.

Another theory Cox stated for the facial injuries 
was “being turned over by agents to facilitate 
handcuffing.” It was a reference to the fact 
Abdullah was lying face down, dead, when agents 
handcuffed him and then rolled him over.

The FBI did not respond to questions about handcuffing a dead man.

According to the Dearborn police investigation 
cited in Cox’s report, Abdullah shot the dog 
three times, the weapon “pointed in the direction” of the arresting agents.

Abdullah’s weapon had no prints on it, which Cox says is not uncommon.

“We got exactly what we expected from the 
Michigan Attorney General, [that’s why] we called 
for an independent investigation,” said Heaster 
Wheeler, Executive Director of the Detroit Branch 
NAACP. “We want the U.S. DOJ and their Civil 
Rights’ department to do a full-scale 
investigation ­ not a review, just looking to see 
if procedure was properly followed. [This] needs to be thoroughly done.”

Wheeler, who joined CAIR-MI and a coalition of 
local religious leaders and community activists 
calling for a federal investigation, says the 
AG’s office has never been a friend to the community of color or civil rights.

“We never get anything from the state,” Wheeler 
told the M.C. “We got what we expected, which is nothing.”

Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR-MI, 
called the AG’s conclusions “odd,” and raised 
several concerns surrounding the report.

CAIR-MI is questioning the circumstances by which 
Cox’s office began the investigation (Wayne 
County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office declined to 
investigate); the excessive use of law 
enforcement officers (including the FBI K-9); 
shooting a human defending himself against a dog attack; and entrapment.

Walid says, by “default,” the case went to Cox’s 
office because Worthy’s office declined to investigate.

Spokesperson Maria Miller said that the 
Prosecutor’s office declined to investigate 
because the FBI would not turn over classified information.

Walid questions the accuracy of Cox’s report.

“If Cox’s office was not given access to the 
information that Worthy’s office requested to 
conduct a thorough investigation, then that would 
bring into question the veracity of Cox’s 
results,” he wrote in a letter to Judiciary 
Committee Chair Congressman John Conyers.

According to Special Agent Jason Pack at FBI 
headquarters in Washington D.C., none of the information was deemed classified.

“The shooting review team inspectors here in 
Washington tell me that there was no classified 
information associated with the shooting investigation,” Pack told the M.C.

CAIR-MI is requesting Conyers “hold hearings on 
the misuse of confidential informants in houses 
of worship, religious organizations and peace 
groups, if a thorough review of the FBI protocol 
of using confidential informants is not conducted 
by the U.S. Attorney General’s office as 
requested by Conyer’s office in January.”

On Oct. 6, CAIR-MI filed a lawsuit against the 
Wayne County Sheriff for its refusal to release 
information relating to the fatal shooting. The 
Sheriff Dept., which was part of a 
multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force 
that executed a series of raids culminating in 
the death of Imam Abdullah, denied Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted by CAIR-MI pertaining to the case.

CAIR-MI recently filed similar suits against the 
Michigan State Police, Dearborn Police and 
Detroit Police departments for non-release of public information.

Spokesperson for the FBI Detroit Field Office 
Sandra Berchtold told this newspaper that even 
though other law enforcement was involved in the 
raid, only FBI agents were inside the warehouse. 
All others were used on the perimeter.

(Editor’s note: We were hesitant to publish the 
photo because of the desensitizing nature of 
violence on Blacks. Permission was given by the 
family through CAIR-MI to publish this photo to 
show the discrepancy in the AG’s report.)

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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