Sara S. & Zainab Damji
In the midst of a movement demanding change and reform, the Black community fights for justice once again as they are reminded of the loss of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr.
Muhaymin died in custody of the Phoenix Police on January 4, 2017 after he tried to take his emotional support dog into a public restroom with him at a community center. Muhaymin is reported to have suffered from schizophrenia, anxiety and intermittent homelessness.
The manager present at the center prevented Muhaymin from entering the restroom and asked him to leave his dog outside, which resulted in an argument between the two. The manager then directed an employee to call 911, and in minutes several Phoenix police officers arrived at the scene.
They attempted to alleviate the situation by allowing Muhaymin to use the restroom only to tackle him to the ground minutes later after a background check was done on Muhaymin and a warrant for his arrest was found on his record due to his failure to appear in court over a misdemeanor charge for possession of a marijuana pipe.
Muhaymin was tackled to the ground outside the facility with four officers on top of him.
Bodycam footage shows Muhaymin crying out “I can’t breathe” multiple times.
Muhaymin was tackled to the ground outside the facility with four officers on top of him. In his last eight minutes before he took his final breath, body-cam footage shows Muhaymin crying out “Please Allah” and one of the officers who was trying to place him in cuffs responding, “Allah? He’s not going to help you now, just relax.”
Muhaymin’s shrieks and utterances became groans. His body went limp, and moments later, an officer can be heard saying “He’s dead.”
The circumstances of the deaths of George Floyd and Muhammad Muhaymin are similar. However, while the four officers involved in Floyd’s death were terminated and are now facing criminal charges, in Muhaymin’s case, none of the officers who responded to the call faced any discipline or consequences for their actions.
CNN reports that all of them remain on the force and one is now a detective.
Several petitions have been put together to demand justice for Muhammad Muhaymin including discipline and conviction of the officers involved. You can sign the petition for Muhammad Muhaymin here.