ISNA Disturbed By Continuation of Police Profiling, Brutality, & Violence Against African Americans

ISNA Disturbed By The Continuation of Police Profiling, Brutality, and Violence Against African Americans: Welcomes Federal Investigation of Recent Police Shooting of Unarmed African American Teen

(Plainfield, IN 8/13/14) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) today welcomed the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to investigate the fatal police shooting last Saturday of 18-year-old Michael Brown.  This latest incident adds to the continuation of police profiling, brutality and violence against African Americans.

According to media reports, St. Louis County police claimed the unarmed Brown had struggled for an officer’s gun in a patrol car before he was killed. Witnesses said Brown, who is African-American, had his hands up when he was shot. Brown’s death triggered angry demonstrations and calls by several civil rights organizations for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the shooting.

A recent study by the American Psychological Association has shown that African American boys are typically perceived by police as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime.

In a statement, ISNA president Imam Mohamed Magid said:

“Our condolences go out to the Brown family on this terrible tragedy. We are deeply alarmed by the continuation of police brutality and violence against minorities, in particular African Americans.We hope that the federal investigation will independently determine the facts and take appropriate action.  ISNA and the American Muslim community joins with others who seek justice in this troubling incident. Until this problem is addressed on the national level, these incidents will continue to erode the public’s confidence in law enforcement and the justice system.”

As federal authorities began investigating the Brown shooting, another incident involved an unarmed mentally-ill African American male named Ezell Ford who was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police Department officers. According to news reports, Ford was shot several times in the back while he was laying down.

Three weeks ago another incident involved Eric Garner, an African American who was choked to death by a New York City Police officer. A videotape shows the use of an illegal chokehold to subdue Mr. Garner, and an independent report by the New York City Medical Examiner indicates that Mr. Garner’s death was caused by the compression of his neck and chest by police officers.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.