MEDIA, NOT FAMILY, GETS STING VIDEO
By Zenobia Jeffries
DETROIT — Official reports and the recent Free Press release of a surveillance video of the FBI fatal shooting of Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah during an undercover sting operation at a Dearborn warehouse have raised concerns and questions of entrapment.
“It’s a heck of a thing when family members have to turn on the news [or see on the] Internet what happened to their father [husband] when thousands have seen it … it’s a heck of a thing,” said Dawud Walid, Director of CAIR-MI, in a phone interview, Oct. 25.
According to CAIR-MI staff attorney Lena Masri, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was submitted to the FBI in February 2010 to obtain any and all video/audio surveillance and photographs, among other documentation, of the investigation of Abdullah, dating back to January 2006.
According to Masri, two FOIA lawsuits will be filed against the FBI and the Michigan Attorney General Oct. 28, the anniversary of Abdullah’s death. Both agencies denied the organizations FOIA request.
Other FOIA lawsuits are pending against local and state law enforcement agencies. The Free Press reported it obtained the video through a Freedom of Information request.
“We still have some concerns,” says Walid. “… we still haven’t received information per our FOIA requests.”
Walid says CAIR-MI is in the process of finalizing their report to turn over to the House Judiciary Chairman, Congressman John Conyers.
“The report will highlight all the unanswered questions the Department of Justice [DOJ] failed to address and the inconsistencies that reside in the various reports,” he said.
The inconsistencies are troubling.
The veterinarian’s autopsy report has the K-9 attack dog’s arrival at 12:05 p.m. when the reports have him as being shot at 12:05 p.m. Stranger yet is that the surveillance video shows the dog handler letting the dog loose on Abdullah at 12:05:27 and then ten seconds later walking the dog away, seemingly unharmed.
Although the Imam’s autopsy report does not explain the abrasions and lacerations on his face, the DOJ’s report and the Attorney General’s report claim that the marks did not come from dog bites.
The Dearborn Police report, however, states, “The abrasions appeared consistent with dog bite wounds and were in areas that the witnesses reported the K-9 biting.”
Another concern is the single gunshot wound in Abdullah’s back.
At a recent press conference, Walid announced that he’s hopeful Congressional hearings will be held to investigate the shooting.
Walid and CAIR-MI, along with other local civil rights and religious organizations and leaders, denounced the DOJ’s report and the Michigan Attorney General’s report exonerating the four FBI agents who shot Abdullah a total of 20 times, killing him after releasing a K-9 attack dog on him, then handcuffing his dead body.
Previous reports indicated that Abdullah was shot 21 times; one bullet exited his scrotum and re-entered his groin, making the total wound count 21.
A Detroit Police officer prevented paramedics from entering the warehouse for two-to-three minutes, according to the Dearborn Police report.
Wayne County Medical Examiner, John Bechinski, D.O., stated, however, that Abdullah “was dead by the time the guns stopped firing.”
The Surveillance Video
At the start of the Free Press-edited video, Abdullah is seen bringing in what appears to be a flatbed hand truck. He is walking backward, with a hobble as though somehow physically impaired. Four men appear, walking forward. The men stop and within seconds they all jump.
Because the video is without sound, it is presumed that the men are startled by flash grenades that were detonated previously. The men begin to run.
Abdullah’s hobble is exaggerated as he runs to one side of the warehouse. Red beams of light, the FBI agents’ laser sights, can be seen darting across the warehouse. FBI agents, in full military gear, one with a metal shield, come into the view of the camera.
The men put their hands up and dropped to the floor.
Abdullah is the last to hit the floor. According to reliable sources, Abdullah suffered from a physical ailment. At this point he can no longer be seen. There are boxes blocking the view. Unlike published reports, and the Free Press scene-by-scene commentary, the video clearly does not show Abdullah having a gun in his hand or pulling a gun from his garment.
More agents are seen coming into the view of the camera, moving closer in to where the men are down. Some agents can be seen moving in other parts of the warehouse.
One agent, in the far right side of the video, is seen waving his hand as though beckoning. Shortly after an agent walks the dog in toward the men on the floor. Within seconds the dog is released into the section where Abdullah was seen dropping to the floor, but now out of sight.
There’s movement by the officers standing closest to Abdullah and the dog; the officers appear to be shooting their weapons. Reports and the media’s account of what is happening indicate that Abdullah has shot the dog. The dog, however, is seen being walked away, seemingly unharmed, 10 seconds later.
The agents then can be seen dragging the men across the floor from where they first laid. The video ends.