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CAIR Welcomes DOJ Civil Rights Probe of Mich. Imam's Death / Hate Crime Charges Follow Attacks on Calif. Muslims
WASHINGTON - February 2 - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed news that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will review the shooting death of a Detroit imam by FBI agents on October 28 in Dearborn.
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced the Justice Department review at a news conference earlier today in Detroit sponsored by CAIR's Michigan chapter (CAIR-MI) and attended by a coalition of civil rights groups.
The news conference was scheduled following the release of autopsy results showing that Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot at least 20 times, including once in the back, as well as being found handcuffed in the prone position.
CAIR and other civil liberties groups had called for an independent investigation of the shooting. On January 13, 2010, Rep. Conyers sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder to request that the civil rights division investigate both the October shooting and whether the FBI violated the Constitution by using informants in mosques.
"We welcome the decision to open a civil rights investigation of the imam's death and thank Representative Conyers for his leadership in ensuring that all the facts in this troubling case come out," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
At the press conference, CAIR-MI announced a series of Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests for materials, including surveillance videos, relating to the raid in which Abdullah was killed. CAIR-MI is also requesting copies of the autopsy photographs and wants to see the results of a necropsy of the police dog killed during the FBI raid.
Attending the news conference along with Rep. Conyers were other elected officials, representatives from CAIR-MI, the ACLU, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, National Action Network Michigan, the National Lawyers Guild Detroit/Michigan, and legal counsel for the Abdullah family.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.