Announcement Follows Family, Activist Pressure on DOJ to Investigate Police Killing of Black Muslim in Phoenix
WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that the agency will initiate a pattern-or-practice investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department, specifically because of officers’ use of deadly force. Muslim Advocates has been working alongside local advocates and the family of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr., a Black, disabled Muslim, who was brutally killed and mocked for his Muslim faith during a 2017 arrest. In released body camera footage, Muhaymin can be heard pleading “Please, Allah” while officers have their knees on his neck. In response, an officer is heard saying “Allah? He’s not going to help you right now.” Muhaymin is also heard crying out “I can’t breathe” multiple times before he was killed. In June 2021, Muslim Advocates directly asked Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to investigate Muhaymin’s killing and open a pattern-or-practice investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Interim Co-Executive Directors Asifa Quraishi-Landes and Farah Brelvi:
“We thank the Justice Department for this long overdue investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department. For more than four years now, no officer involved in the cruel and heartbreaking killing of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr. has been held accountable in any way. Everywhere the Muhaymin family has gone for justice, they have been denied: by the City of Phoenix, by the Maricopa County Attorney and the Phoenix Police Department. The Justice Department’s investigation is an important step forward towards finally obtaining justice for the Muhaymin family and so many others who have been targeted by police violence.
We call on the Justice Department to thoroughly investigate the killing of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr. as well as the abject indifference of the Phoenix Police Department and the City of Phoenix to this tragedy. Muhaymin was a father and a brother and a son to his family. His death must not just become another statistic. This is a human tragedy and, as his sister Mussalina Muhaymin says, ‘the city of Phoenix not only let it happen, they’re encouraging it to happen again by failing to hold the officers who killed my brother accountable.’ The Muhaymin family has fought and suffered long enough to see justice and we hope this federal investigation will help them win it.”
- Muslim Advocates Releases Body Camera Footage Showing Phoenix Officer Mocking Muslim Faith of Black Man Before Being Killed
- Muhammad Muhaymin’s Family Marks Four Years Since Killing by Phoenix Police Without Accountability
- Muslim Advocates Blasts Court for Sealing Previously Public Hearing on Phoenix Police Lawsuit
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.