Release of video in imam’s death denied

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100519/METRO01/5190357/1409/METRO

Release of video in imam’s death denied

Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News

Detroit — The state Attorney General’s Office has turned down a Freedom of Information Act request by a Muslim civil rights group for access to video footage from the fatal shooting of Detroit imam.

Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot by FBI agents in October during a raid on a Dearborn warehouse. Federal authorities have said that Abdullah shot an FBI dog and fired at agents during the raid.

The Michigan office of the Council on Islamic American-Islamic Relations received a letter from the Attorney General’s Office this week denying them the video.

“The information you seek relates to a matter under investigation by the department,” read the letter dated May 13 by Christine Dingee, the FOIA coordinator for the office.

The information is exempt from public disclosure, she wrote. “Disclosure of these records, while the matter is under investigation, would result in an adverse impact on the department’s ability to undertake an accurate and thorough investigation,” the letter said. “Furthermore, the public disclosure of preliminary information and related investigative materials could expose the jury pool to inadmissible evidence.”

FBI agents have said the shooting of Abdullah was justified because he opened fire during the raid on a stolen-goods operation.

CAIR-Michigan has a right, according to the Attorney General’s Office, to appeal the decision.

CAIR has joined a coalition of religious leaders in asking President Barack Obama to direct U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a civil rights investigation into the cleric’s death.

The Dearborn Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice are investigating the shooting, but have not completed their probes.

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