NY Muslims protest hiring of Officer tried in Diallo Case
The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today joined with that city's Islamic Society of Fire Department Personnel (ISFDP) and the Vulcan Society to protest the hiring of an officer brought up on criminal charges in the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Muslim from West Africa.
New York City Fire Department officials say they have tentatively decided to hire Police Officer Edward McMellon, one of the four officers involved in the 1999 shooting. (McMellon was acquitted of the criminal charges but still faces disciplinary actions stemming from the incident.)
"The fire commissioner's hiring of such a controversial figure could serve to increase tensions in an already divided city," said CAIR-NY spokesman Kevin James. James, who is also president of the ISFDP, added that Muslims in the Fire Department are deeply troubled by Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen's apparent acceptance of officer McMellon while he refuses to appoint a Muslim chaplain.
The Vulcan Society, which represents black firefighters in the New York City Fire Department, has also requested that the officer not be hired.