(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 7/9/14) - The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) announced today that it filed a Petition for Writ of Certiori to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the family of Imam Luqman Abdullah, who was killed during an FBI raid in 2009.
[NOTE: A Petition for Writ of Certiori is a request to the United Supreme Court to review an opinion of a lower court for legal error].
The Petition seeks to overturn a decision issued on February 13, 2015, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which found that the estate's claim began to run on the day Imam Abdullah was killed: October 28, 2009. Accordingly, knowledge of the killing itself started the clock, and the estate was responsible to determine the facts underlying the wrongful death and the identities of the four FBI agent shooters within the three-year limitations period.
SEE: Petition for Writ of Certiori to the United States Supreme Court
After Imam Abdullah, a respected Detroit-area Muslim leader, was killed, the Detroit Division of the FBI issued a press release stating that “[d]uring the arrests today, the suspects were ordered to surrender. At one location, four suspects surrendered and were arrested without incident. Luqman Ameen Abdullah did not surrender and fired his weapon. An exchange of gun fire followed and Abdullah was killed.”
CAIR-MI, on behalf of Imam Abdullah’s family, challenged the FBI’s account of the shooting and sought information related to the events surrounding his death. CAIR-MI filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against six government agencies, including the FBI. Settlements of these lawsuits yielded more than 1,000 pages of documents, including photographs, video footage, police cam footage, and audio. However, the documents withheld the identities of the FBI shooters and mirrored the FBI-narrative that Imam Abdullah fired a weapon toward the agents.
On September 30, 2010, 11 months after Abdullah’s death, the Michigan attorney general released a report on the shooting. The report disclosed that four FBI Agents shot Abdullah; however, their identities were withheld. Moreover, the report concluded the shooting was justified because Imam Abdullah fired a weapon towards the FBI agents.
SEE: Report of the Michigan Attorney General on the FBI shooting death of Imam Abdullah
On October 13, 2010, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its report. That report also exonerated the FBI Agents of any liability, and found the shooting to be justified under federal law. Again, the DOJ Report withheld the identities of the FBI shooters.
SEE: Report of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice on the FBI shooting death of Imam Abdullah
On October 25, 2012, the sole civilian eyewitness provided the Estate with a sworn affidavit that Imam Abdullah followed the FBI Agents commands to show his hands and get down on the ground, that Imam Abdullah was not carrying or holding a weapon and did not point a weapon at any FBI agents.
The estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit the following day against “Unidentified FBI Agents,” and within the three-year limitations period. However, because the FBI shooters were not named parties to the lawsuit, the lawsuit was dismissed as untimely.
SEE: Wrongful Death Lawsuit
CAIR-MI now seeks to overturn the Sixth Circuit Court’s decision, arguing that the three-year limitations period did not begin to run until the estate learned the truth of the events that transpired that led to the shooting death of Imam Abdullah: that he was unarmed, that he did not fire toward any FBI agents, and that he surrendered and was lying on the ground when the FBI first released a K-9 that attacked and mauled him, and then shot and killed him.
“We are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiori, reverses the decision of the lower court, and allows the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Imam Abdullah to move forward,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri. “The Sixth Circuit Court’s ruling is extremely concerning as it allows the government to cover up the facts and identities of those involved in a wrongful killing, and to ultimately escape liability.”
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.
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Leaders say incident is part of nationwide rise in hate crimes targeting American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim
(SPOKANE, WA, 7/8/2015) – On Thursday, July 9, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), along with local Muslim, interfaith and community leaders, will hold a news conference to call on state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate apparently bias-motivated vandalism targeting the Bosnia Herzegovina Heritage Association of Spokane.
The phrase “Death to Islam” was spray-painted on the exterior of the center, which is being used for Muslim prayers during the month-long fast of Ramadan, possibly while congregants were performing the evening prayers on Saturday, July 4. Worshipers saw the graffiti when they exited the center.
(CLEVELAND, OH, 7/8/2015) – Today The Cleveland 8, a group of clergy and community activists, released a video and open letter criticizing the abuse of the grand jury process in the Tamir Rice shooting by Cleveland Police.
The open letter condemns the disregard by municipal and county prosecutors of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine’s June 11 ruling of probable cause in the death of Tamir Rice. The group states that prosecutors are exhibiting an egregious disregard for the criminal justice process by failing to take appropriate action on the probable cause ruling.
“We are working to ensure procedural justice is not derailed as we saw with the abuse of the grand jury process in Ferguson and Staten Island,” said Julia Shearson, a member of the Cleveland 8 and executive director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland). “This open letter makes clear that we will not stand for a two-tier system of justice in which the police are given special treatment denied to ordinary people in the grand jury system.
(ST. LOUIS, MO., 7/06/2015) -- On Thursday, July 9, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis (IFGSTL) and the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) will hold the second annual ‘Sharing Ramadan with Your Muslim Neighbors” event.
WHAT: 2nd Annual Sharing Ramadan with Your Muslim Neighbors
WHEN: Thursday July 9, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis Gym, 517 Wiedman Road, Ballwin, MO, 63011
CAIR-St. Louis Video: Sharing Ramadan