Top prosecutor to review FBI shooting of imam

If the “classified” information that was not given to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy isn’t provided to Special Assistant Attorney General Doug Baker either, then the results of the review may be problematic.

Worthy is explicitly stating that her office could not conduct a thorough investigation without having access to all of the evidence surrounding the raid.  Not providing all vital information would surely have influenced any conclusions.

This also will hold true for Baker’s report.


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http://www.freep.com/article/20100412/NEWS02/100412036/1004/news02/Top-prosecutor-to-review-FBI-shooting-of-imam

Top prosecutor to review FBI shooting of imam

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Attorney General Mike Cox has tapped a veteran prosecutor to investigate the FBI’s fatal shooting in Dearborn of a Muslim leader after Wayne County declined to get involved, his office said today.

Doug Baker, a former Wayne County prosecutor who has handled major cases, was chosen as a special assistant attorney general to review whether the FBI acted appropriately in the Oct. 28 shooting death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah. Abdullah was shot 20 times by federal agents seeking to arrest him and his followers on suspicion of dealing in stolen goods in a sting operation.

Baker will investigate whether the FBI violated any state laws in their handling of the case, said John Sellek, spokesman for Cox. That review could potentially lead to charges as serious as manslaughter or second-degree murder, Cox’s office said.

The state is getting involved because the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has “declined to conduct any investigation into the incident,” according to a letter the FBI sent in February to Cox. The letter was obtained today by the Free Press.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said today her office declined to investigate because she said it was told by the FBI it couldn’t receive classified documents from them.

“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office was told shortly after the shooting of Imam Abdullah that there were certain documents that we would not receive because they were classified,” Worthy said in a statement. “We always want to conduct a thorough investigation, and it would have been irresponsible for us to do so without all of the existing information.”

The FBI has sent its completed review of the shooting to the state Attorney General, which is now waiting for a report from the Dearborn Police Department. The FBI said in the letter it “cannot close out its investigation without receiving an opinion from the local prosecutor’s office.” It’s signed by an inspector in their Inspection Division in Washington, D.C.

Muslim and African-American leaders have raised questions about the Oct. 28 shooting and the FBI’s use of informants in their case. One of FBI’s informants led Abdullah to the Dearborn warehouse where he was shot dead. They have also questioned why the FBI spent two years investigating Abdullah, who led the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit and is accused of preaching extremism and violence against the U.S. government.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit office Andrew Arena has said that his agents acted appropriately, and that his office doesn’t target anyone based on their religion or race.

The Free Press once described Baker as “a courtroom pit bull who prosecuted some of the highest-profile and toughest cases in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.” He spent almost 30 years with Wayne County, prosecuting gang leaders, police killers, and another case involving allegations of police misconduct: the case of Detroit officers Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers in the beating death of Malice Green.

In their letter, the FBI also said that Cox should not release any information on the case to the outside parties, including those made under state sunshine, or FOIA, laws.

Sellek said that Cox’s office would have to follow state laws pertaining to FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act.

The family attorney for Abdullah, Nabih Ayad, said he hopes that the findings of any investigation are released soon.

“The longer the investigation … the more the suspicion builds,” Ayad said. He also said that Prosecutor Worthy should be handling the case since it happened in her jurisdiction.

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, “We welcome state Attorney General Mike Cox’s decision to become involved in the investigation of this very high-profile case.”

“Such measures will hopefully lead all of us more toward the truth of what happened that day in the warehouse.”

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