A Letter of Concern to NYPD MUSLIM OFFICERS SOCIETY April 30, 2014

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April 30, 2014

NYPD MUSLIM OFFICERS SOCIETY

PO BOX 24584 BROOKLYN, NY 11202

To Whom It May Concern:

In light of the shooting incident of 16 year-old Kimani Gray on March 2013, The Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), a New York-based coalition consisting of citizens, community leaders, faith leaders, organizers, and advocates respectfully requests that the NYPD Muslim Officers Society rescind their decision to bestow the “Cop of the Year” award to Sergeant Mourad at the sixth-annual scholarship dinner on May 8, 2014.

In regards to the upcoming award ceremony, we would like to remind you of the events that have surrounded this incident that impact our communities. Firstly, there has been much dispute regarding the exact events of the incident. When interviewed by the Daily News, Tishana King an eyewitness, said she had a “bird’s-eye view” of the incident, and that she was “certain he [Gray] didn’t have anything in his hands.”[1] Subsequently, East Flatbush residents have participated in many vigils and a violent protest on March 13th, where 46 people were arrested. During one of the protests, Gray’s sister was arrested and later released. Gray’s mother has also been adamant in voicing her concerns and says that she is still awaiting justice to be served.

Gray was shot in the New York district of Councilman Jumaane D. Williams. Councilman Williams is an adamant supporter of the rights of our communities. He along with Councilman Brad Lander introduced the Community Safety Act. In an exchange between Williams and former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Kelly said “Well, let me say this: New York is by far the safest big city in America. What we are doing here are tactics and strategies that are working.”[2] However, we the Muslim community, know firsthand that our community members are still effected by the surveillance program initiated by Commissioner Kelly.

In addition, an article in the Daily Times referenced how Sergeant Mourad was named in 3 federal lawsuits for civil rights violations where settlements ranging from $20,000 to $92,500 were received.

“Derek Franks received a $92,500 settlement for a suit against Mourad and other unidentified cops, alleging he was illegally stopped and frisked on May 7, 2007. He spent four months in Rikers Island until charges were dropped.

“Andre Maraj and Dary Harville each received $22,500 settlements, which alleged they were falsely arrested by Mourad and others. Harville claimed he was “slammed” into a car.

“Jontel Sebbern received $20,000 stemming from his arrest after a car stop. He was ordered out of the car by Mourad and others, who frisked him and pulled his pants and underwear.”[3]

In light of the serious issues surrounding Sergeant Mourad, we find it unconscionable that he would be considered for an award.  Furthermore, the Muslim community is a community that stands up for the civil rights of others and is sensitive to the plight of marginalized communities who suffer the abuses of the NYPD.

Please let us know in writing that the offer has been rescinded by this Friday, May 2nd. If the award is not rescinded, we will be taking further steps including organizing a protest at the time of your event, bringing further attention to the insult and harm of this unwarranted award.

Respectfully Submitted,

Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition

MACLC

__________________

MACLC is a New York-based coalition of citizens, community and faith leaders, organizers, advocates and attorneys. MACLC aims to give voice to absent perspectives on issues of national security, counterterrorism, law enforcement, and civil rights, especially as they impact Muslim communities in post-9/11 New York City. Members of the coalition include: Arab American Association of New York (AAANY); Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Association of Muslim American Lawyers; Council on American Islamic Relations – New York (CAIR-NY); Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project; DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center; Muslim American Society of New York (MAS-NY); Muslim Bar Association of New York; Muslim Consultative Network (MCN); Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance; Muslim Public Affairs Council – New York; and Women in Islam, Inc.

PDF MACLC-Letter-MOS ATTACHED

 

[1] “Brooklyn riot over teen’s death: 16-year-old shot by cops did not have a gun, says witness” New York Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/witness-claims-16-year-old-killed-cops-hands-article-1.1286981 (March 13, 2013)

[2] “Kelly Questioned on Stop-and-Frisk Tactic at Council Budget Meeting” New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/nyregion/kelly-questioned-on-stop-and-frisk-tactic-at-council-budget-meeting.html (March 12, 2013)

[3] “Both cops involved in shooting death of Kimani Gray, 16, in East Flatbush named in federal lawsuits” New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cops-killed-kimani-gray-named-federal-lawsuits-article-1.1290342  (March 15, 2013)

 

NOTE: An Article Describing the Response of the Awardee can be found at this link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/involved-shooting-brooklyn-teen-declines-policing-award-article-1.1788738

 

Published on May 6, 2014 at 3:37 am  Leave a Comment  

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