Cox: No laws broken in fatal FBI shooting of imam
Robert Snell / The Detroit News
No state laws were violated in the killing of a Detroit mosque leader, who died during a shootout with the FBI, according to Attorney General Mike Cox’s office.
Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah was killed Oct. 28 at a Dearborn warehouse in October.
Abdullah was shot 20 times by FBI agents after he allegedly fired a weapon and killed an FBI dog.
The gunfire occurred during an attempted arrest in connection with an indictment involving dealing in stolen goods and other alleged crimes.
“My office’s review found undisputed evidence that Mr. Abdullah resisted arrest and fired a gun first in the direction of the agents,” Cox said. “Under Michigan law, law enforcement agents are justified in using deadly force in these types of situations, and therefore we found no crimes.”
There was no immediate comment from the FBI.
An internal FBI investigation of the shooting has been completed and is under review by the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department.
The Attorney General’s office reviewed the shooting and arrest of Abdullah and four others after the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office declined.
“Based upon those circumstances, we question the veracity of anything that comes out of his office,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Michigan (CAIR), who has expressed concern about the FBI shooting and the autopsy report.
He is eagerly awaiting the Justice Department report and a chance to review key pieces of evidence that his group has requested under the Freedom of Information Act, including surveillance footage of the raid, which might show the fatal shooting.
Walid’s group also requested test results showing whether Abdullah fired a weapon and the caliber of bullets that struck the FBI dog to see if the bullets were fired by Abdullah or a law enforcement agent.
The review included interviewing 82 people and examining more than 1,600 pages of files and video recordings from the FBI and Dearborn Police.
The review concluded the FBI did not violate any state laws during the attempted arrest and that Abdullah was armed, resisted arrest, rejected repeated commands to surrender and show his hands. He refused to comply when warned that a dog would be deployed, according to the report.
Instead, Abdullah flashed a handgun and fired at several law enforcement agents.
The report said four FBI agents were directly involved in the shooting, and each told investigators they feared for their lives and the lives of others. Under state law, they returned fire in self-defense, killing Abdullah.
The Attorney General’s review also included interviewing the Wayne County Medical Examiner to learn more about facial injuries suffered by Abdullah.
The imam’s autopsy has raised concern among groups after a report released in February showed Abdullah was shot 21 times and said the medical examiner found his body handcuffed inside a trailer when he arrived at the Dearborn warehouse that was the scene of the shooting.
Abayomi Azikiwe of the Michigan Emergency Committee against War and Injustice called Abdullah’s death a “targeted assassination.”
During the review by Cox’s office, the medical examiner said there is insufficient evidence to definitively state how those injuries were caused.
“Theories include injury from the action of the slide on the pistol Abdullah was firing extremely close to his face, injury from being turned over by agents to facilitate handcuffing, or injury from the dog,” according to the report. “None of the eyewitness statements, nor any of the video footage, supplies any evidence that Abdullah’s facial injuries were sustained post-mortem.”