(LOS ANGELES, CA – 11/18/2023) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today responded to the release of a local college professor on reduced bail after his lawyer argued that he was not involved in the incident that led to the accidental death of a counter-protestor at a pro-Palestine protest in Ventura County.
The released man, Mr. Loay Alnaji, is a 50-year-old computer science professor at Moorpark College. On Friday, Mr. Alnaji was arraigned in a courtroom packed with supporters, who included his family and students. Later in the evening, he was released after his bail was reduced from one million dollars to fifty thousand dollars. He still faces charges of battery and involuntary manslaughter.
Mr. Alnaji has unequivocally denied and rejected those charges. Mr. Alnaji’s attorney, Ron Bamieh, told the court that he has videos showing his client was not near the victim, Mr. Kessler, when he fell and hit his head on the ground after some kind of altercation broke out.
- Professor’s lawyer: Alnaji was not near pro-Israel protester when altercation broke out in Thousand Oaks
- Authorities: No hate crime in arrest of Moorpark man accused in death of Jewish man
- CAIR-LA ‘Saddened’ by Death of Jewish Man After Confrontation at Protest, Asks All Parties To Wait for Results of Investigation
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“This is a tragic situation resulting from a very unfortunate accident that clearly no one intended to happen. Witnesses have reported that the alleged incident led to a terrible accident that involved Mr. Kessler falling and hitting his head on the ground.
“We will continue to monitor the judicial process to ensure that truth and justice prevail and that the legal process is not politicized. We reiterate our strong support for the right of First Amendment political debate, protest, and speech and our unequivocal rejection of all violence, antisemitism, Islamophobia, or incitement of hatred.”
CAIR-LA urges all communities to refrain from spreading incitement, rumors, and false accusations and to await the judicial process.
CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Digital Communications Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 851-4851 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about the case, please contact Mr. Ron Bamieh, attorney for Mr. Loay Alnaji, (805)-643-5555, email@example.com