DEARBORN — A local police chief is defending his decision to withhold the release of an autopsy report on Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who was killed Oct. 28 in a gunfight with the FBI at a Dearborn warehouse.
“While I understand the emotions surrounding the case and the sensitivity of the information, I’m standing by my decision,” Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said Monday.
Haddad told the Press & Guide he asked the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office to delay releasing the report until after the Dearborn Police Department has completed its investigation into the Islamic leader’s shooting, despite concerns from several civil rights groups about a possible cover-up of facts surrounding Abdullah’s death.
“If I thought there was something in the report that people didn’t already know, I’d release it,” he said. “We’re not hiding anything. We just want to make sure that there are no gaps in the information. Once the case is closed, we will disclose everything.”
He said the inquiry into Abdullah’s death could be concluded by Jan. 31.
But the department’s refusal to release the information immediately has several civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) concerned about a potential cover-up.
“If the autopsy is being suppressed to media and advocates, this would be very disturbing indeed and will raise even more suspicion in regards to the shooting of the imam,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “Transparency would be the best measure for restoring public confidence in the process.”
Walid and other civil rights leaders have called for an independent investigation into the imam’s death, citing concerns about whether excessive force was used during the Oct. 28 raid at a warehouse in Dearborn, where agents attempted to arrest Abdullah on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. (More)