FBI reports raise more coverup fears

http://www.freep.com/article/20100413/BLOG2505/100413078/1068/OPINION/FBI-reports-raise-more-coverup-fears-

FBI reports raise more coverup fears

By Jeff Gerritt

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has declined to investigate the shooting by federal agents on Oct. 28 of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah. The reason: the FBI reportedly told her it would not give her office certain classified documents. This unusual action raises doubts that Michigan prosecutors can do a fair and thorough investigation of Abdullah’s death — and raises more fears of a government coverup.

Why would the FBI deny potential evidence to another law enforcement agency investigating the case? Classified documents generally involve high levels of national security that don’t apply here, by any stretch. Nor does the Abdullah case involve foreign governments or — at least officially — terrorism. I raised the question with an FBI spokesman in Washington today. To my surprise, he said he didn’t think there were classified documents in the Abdullah case but promised to get back to me. What’s going on?

If there are classified documents that the FBI was unwilling to give to Worthy’s office, will the FBI be willing to give those same documents to Doug Baker, the former Wayne County prosecutor tapped by Attorney General Michael Cox to handle the investigation. A review could lead to criminal charges as serious as manslaughter or second-degree murder, Cox’s office told Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo.

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. The FBI’s restricting certain documents is the most recent in a series of efforts by law enforcement to delay or withhold information, including a request by Dearborn police to postpone the release of the autopsy report.

“These actions are what bring about more questions,’’ said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan. Ultimately, only a full-scale investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department will satisfy some of the growing fears of a government cover up — fears law enforcement continue to fuel.

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