In the wake of an early morning fatal shooting of Usaama Rahim, a 26-year old African American Muslim man waiting at a bus stop on his way to work, Muslim Advocates urges federal and local law enforcement officials to release a video of the encounter and further information about the basis for the surveillance of Rahim. Many questions have emerged about the circumstances that led to his death. The police have a video of the shooting that they claim supports their version of what happened, but they have not released the video to the public. In addition, no explanation has been given for why Rahim was being subjected to 24-hour law enforcement surveillance and why police chose to approach him for questioning at 7:00 a.m. at a bus stop.
“We are hearing two different narratives of the incident,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “The victim’s family has said that Rahim was shot in the back as he was talking on the phone with his father, while law enforcement officials have claimed he was shot in the front. During a press conference by the FBI and the Boston Police Department soon after the shooting, officials clearly said that there is no ongoing threat in this case to the American people. Given the lack of a continuing threat, the public deserves to understand why police were spying on and fatally shot Rahim. This transparency is critical to gaining trust of law enforcement by communities that are all too often victims of police surveillance and killings.”