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Some people have reached out to me in the past few days to ask my thoughts about the recently released autopsy report from the FBI shooting death of Detroit imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah and about whether I think the revelation that he was shot 20 times is cause for a serious probe into the circumstances of his death.

In a nutshell? Hell yes, I think there should be an investigation -- and not just the routine probe announced by the Justice Dept. today either. Like Congressman John Conyers and many others around Detroit, I think the killing merits an independent investigation.

"The need to provide a thorough, rigorous and transparent accounting of the shooting here is plain," Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, wrote in a Jan. 13 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asking that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division launch a probe into the shooting.

"These concerns are only inflamed when the Special Agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office asserts -- before investigation has been completed -- that 'I'm comfortable with what our agents did ... they did what they had to do to protect themselves.' Such preliminary judgments cause many observers to fear that (the Justice Department's) internal investigations will simply reach preordained conclusions to protect the government's own."

Here's what we've all been told: After a lengthy investigation, the FBI went to a Dearborn warehouse on Oct. 28 to arrest Abdullah and some of his followers for firearms violations and trafficking in stolen goods. The FBI says Abdullah fired on them first, killing an FBI dog. The agents then fired back, spraying him with 20 bullets that left 21 wounds, including to his back.

This, of course, is the point at which what you know and what you believe can take any number of divergent paths, depending on your own history and POV and whatever formula you use to determine whom you trust and whom you don't. Me, I tend not to trust any law-enforcement agency to investigate itself, not when it comes to killing low-profile black suspects, not considering how federal agents spent more time describing Abdullah as a religious extremist than as a suspected fence -- and definitely not when it comes to agents making decisions that could hold their peers accountable for taking out an accused bad guy.

I suppose that decades of watching one cop after another get exonerated for beating and fatally shooting black and Latino suspects can jade you that way. From Malice Green to Rodney King to Sean Bell to Oscar Grant -- has any black or brown man ever ultimately been deemed "innocent" when it comes to bloody run-ins with the law?

My sagging confidence certainly wasn't bolstered any by the Dearborn Police Department, which requested that the coroner not release the autopsy findings from the October shooting until earlier this week. Foot-dragging or administrative due diligence? I don't know for sure -- but the delay doesn't fill me or many others with reassurance.

On the flip side, I'm acutely aware that none of these things automatically validates my concerns or suspicions — that, in and of themselves, they don't mean the agents are guilty of anything more than having good aim and a lot of bullets. Maybe, somehow, shooting a man 20 times and then cuffing him and leaving him in a trailer is justified and appropriate, particularly to those who hold that Abdullah "brought it on himself" by firing first and shooting an FBI dog.

I may not agree -- but more than anything, I think it's important that we find out for sure.

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  • 1

    Hell yes too!

    Once upon a time a shot in the leg was enough.

    Now it's a full fledged fullisade. War.

    Of all the agencies, the State Police maintains my respect and confidence. I think that it has always been a first class outfit. Even when an officer is disparaged and demeaned by the Attorney General.


  • 2

    This is one story that I am really sick of hearing about. Really a bad guy is dead, so what, the FBI shot him up pretty good. He shot first, so say the report, the FBI shot back.

    Was he a terrorist? probably not. Did he deserve to get shot, well that is the call of the FBI agents. Did they "overkill" him? Well once your dead, that is about it. Yes he was chock full of holes, so what he was a criminal.

    (DARRELL DAWSEY said "has any black or brown man ever ultimately been deemed "innocent" when it comes to bloody run-ins with the law?")

    Are you really making that statement for real or are you just trying to incite with that comment. If so that is a sad statement. I know plenty of people of all colors who have been beaten by police. Some just know when to give up before they get killed or beaten up so badly that they are in coma.

    Then you back peddle out of what you have said at the end with your witty comment of "On the flip side, I'm acutely aware that none of these things automatically validates my concerns or suspicions — that, in and of themselves, they don't mean the agents are guilty of anything more than having good aim and a lot of bullets."

    I would like to think that all Americans would like to live in peace and not fear that their lives and the possessions that we all work hard for are protected by law enforcement, and that they will do everything they cant to keep people like Luqman Ameen Abdullah from contaminating our lives with their hate a disregard for the law.

    Some times people on the wrong side of the fence get killed. So what, they shot him up real good, Did they drag him behind a car after wards? Did they strap him to the hood of the car to show every one that this is what happens to criminals. No, they did their job and for that I'm thankful.

  • 3

    The criminal justice system in our nation has always been a criminal enterpise . Our CJ system has failed so many for to long ..

    In our criminal justice system one can expect the worst set of events to unfold from cops making up false statements to judges taking bribes to wardens raping inmates..

    Our criminal justice system is so terrible that even those who operate within the system fear its processes and protocols..

    Truth is of course our criminal justice system mirrors the people of our nation. We are a nation of cheaters from lying on tax returns to stealing from our employers who in turn evade government regulations from a safe workplace to hiring illegals to funding corrupt political campaigns, priests raping kids to missonaries stealing kids in Haiti...

    Our nation is full of hypocrites, thieves, crooks, perverts, killers, scum and these are the folks who are not behind bars...

    SO the ideal that the FBI could murder a man in handcuffs is not a newsflash but business as usual in a nation full of criminals in and outside the criminal justice system

  • 4

    Wow because someone has been accused of violating the law and he is dead, it is cool that he is dead because he was violating the law? Or is it that because Abdullah had been accused of being a bad guy it makes sense to you that the agents fired that many shots?

    What really concerns me is that you are not just tired of hearing about the story, you think that an FBI agent is just doing a job when they shoot a person so many times, his body looks more like cheddar cheese than that of a man.

    With all due respect, just because you know a number of folks from a number of backgrounds who have had a number of run-ins with the law does not change the history of neglect and violence imposed on many communities of color by the system of law enforcement in this country. Mr. Dawsey appropriatley pointed out that ones POV on this matter will, without doubt, be directly connected to the life experences of the person paying attention to the story.

    The historical fact is that our current criminal justice system was created in the beginning to make it difficult, if not impossible, for people of color who were enslaved to freely live their lives. The focus was, therefore, on people of color; and nothing in the history of this nation has changed that focus.

    It is not acceptable that a man, law-abiding or not, be shot down like a dog for any reason. This is America and in America, we value human life....all human life...or do we???

    • 4.1

      Did I read it wrong or what, I read he shot first.... So that in turn made the FBI shoot him... Hmmmm. So, yes he should be shot down like a dog. Just think if he did not fire a shot he would more then likely still be alive today.

      Do we even know how many agents there were? Were there 5 maybe 15. lets say there were 8 that would be 2.65 bullets apiece for the agents. Now that is not a lot of bullets apiece but together it is considerable. Its not like there was one agent who reloaded after he was dead. That would be heinous.

      I don't "see" Luqman Ameen Abdullah as a black man first, I "see" him as a man, then a criminal that opened fire on the FBI.

      Does he deserve what he got, The way I see it yes.

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