(ANAHEIM, C.A., 03/03/15) – The Greater Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today expressed grave concerns about the fatal shooting of an unarmed mentally-ill homeless man on the streets of downtown, Los Angeles this past Sunday by LAPD officers. 

The graphic and disturbing footage, which appeared on Facebook shows a violent altercation between the man and several LAPD officers. The video has been viewed more than 3 million times and triggered widespread condemnation. 

 

CAIR-LA welcomes the Los Angeles Police Department's pledge to a full and thorough investigation as a step in the right direction. 

This incident not only calls into question the use of excessive force by the police, but also the LAPD’s track record of protecting and serving the city’s homeless and mentally ill population.

In March 2008, Mohammad Usman Chaudhry, a homeless, mentally-ill Muslim man was fatally shot by LAPD. CAIR-LA, along with other civil rights groups, filed a lawsuit against the officer involved and the LAPD for wrongful death and excessive use of force. The Federal Jury ruled in favor of the victim's family.

SEE: CAIR-LA Welcomes Appeals Court Ruling In Favor Of Family Of Muslim Shot By LAPD Officer

"The police department and police commission must very carefully examine the strategies they implement, their relationship with the community and the training they receive to identify and deal with mentally-ill individuals to improve their service of the city's homeless and mentally ill population." said Fatima Dadabhoy, CAIR-LA's Senior Civil Rights Attorney. 

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of the man who was slain."

"We hope that this tragedy presents an opportunity for LAPD officials to conduct an investigation that is fully transparent and serves as a step closer to building more trust with marginalized populations within the city." 

CAIR-LA will continue to monitor the development of this case. 

 

CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Ojaala Ahmad, 714-776-1847714-851-4851,oahmad@cair.com