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.
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.
The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement Monday night detailing the response of police officers to the scene of an attempted forgery at around 8:00 P.M. The department stated in the report that “officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress” and was then “transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”
However, security camera footage later revealed that there was no evidence of Floyd resisting arrest, but rather, he was thrown to the ground as officer Derek Chauvin dug his knee into Floyd’s neck, suffocating him to death.
The three other officers at the scene, officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng, all stood by as Floyd repeatedly moaned in the video, “I can’t breathe…please, I can’t breathe.” Bystanders at the scene begged the officer to stop, but Chauvin refused.
Even as Floyd evidently lost consciousness, Chauvin continued to use his knee to pin him to the ground. Within the next hour and a half, Floyd was pronounced dead.
Enraged by the news of Floyd’s death, citizens in southern Minneapolis set fires, vandalized property, and ransacked stores; protestors set off fireworks and threw water bottles and rocks at police officers.
Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota took toTwitter late Wednesday night to express grievances over the protests’ evolution into an “extremely dangerous situation” and to ask for cooperation in allowing firefighters and paramedics onto the scene. Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis responded as well, pleading for protestors to “help in keeping the peace tonight.”
Since Floyd’s murder, many celebrities have expressed their grief regarding this act of violence.
“This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being black,” said How To Get Away With Murder starlet Viola Davis.
This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being Black. We are dictated by hundreds of years of policies that have restricted our very existence and still have to continue to face modern day lynchings. Here's the thing......https://t.co/U0EfytNwdgpic.twitter.com/IimJn3RXlk
NBA star LeBron James also spoke up, posting an image of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem alongside a picture of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck on Instagram with the caption: “This is Why. Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke.”
Many believe that Floyd’s death is an echo of Eric Garner’s, and although years have passed since his death, the subjection of Black Americans to police brutality remains very much alive.
According to Mapping Police Violence, 99% of killings by police officers, between 2013 and 2019, havenotresulted in any officers being charged with a crime
Currently, the investigation being led by the FBI and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis states that ‘officers’ actions and training protocol will be carefully examined after the officers have provided their statements.’
In light of George Floyd’s death, a GoFundMe set up on Wednesday to cover funeral costs has surpassed $1,000,000 and drew in 46,000 donors.
In a statement uploaded onto the GoFundMe page by his brother, Philonise Floyd, he stated “from the bottom of our hearts my family thanks each of you who have reached out. While we are not able to respond to each expression of love at this time, please know that we love and appreciate each and every one of you. Our hearts are overwhelmed!”
May 28, 2020 – The Muslim community is demanding justice for the killing of 47-year-old Sudanese-American Yassin Mohamed by police in Claxton, Georgia.
According to the police reports, Mohamed was shot by Evans County law enforcement on May 9 after throwing rocks at them. However, it’s speculated that Mohamed was experiencing a mental health episode during his encounter with law enforcement.
This incident was just one of Mohamed’s multiple encounters with the police within 12 hours preceding his death.
After encountering both the Glenville police department and Claxton police department, Mohamed was restrained and taken to the hospital where he refused treatment, leading the Georgia branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) to question the mental state of Mohamed.
“We’re unclear as to the mental state of Mr. Mohamed, and until the culmination of the investigation we won’t know for sure,” said Murtaza Khwaja, the legal and policy director of CAIR-GA, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Despite the unclear verdict on Mohamed’s mental state, Khwaja stated that “law enforcement is treating this as a mental health crisis.”
KNOW HIS NAME. This is #YassinMohamed. He is a 47-year-old Sudanese-American Muslim man who was shot and killed on May 9 by an Evans County sheriff’s deputy who had been called to the scene in response to a report of jaywalking. pic.twitter.com/R0EmhX8ycT
“If Mr. Mohamed was indeed in the midst of a mental health crisis, it’s unconscionable that law enforcement did not place him … under a wellness hold until they were able to transfer him for treatment,” said Khwaja, referring to the encounter when the police officers took Mohammed to the hospital.
Khwaja stated it was possible to subdue Mohamed without the use of lethal force, an option that he believes is oftentimes ignored, even when police officers have other means of detainment at their disposal.
Prior to the deadly encounter with the Evans County deputy, Mohamed approached a police officer and an emergency medical service provider, wielding a plastic pipe as seen in a video posted by AllOnGeorgia.
The report filed by the assaulted officer notes that Mohamed seemed to be experiencing a “mental episode.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that the district attorney will review the investigation once it is complete.
The decision to file charges will also be taken by the prosecutor later on. At the moment, it is not clear whether the police officers responsible for Mohamed’s death are on duty or not. According to a tweet by Georgia’s Bureau of Investigation Public Affairs Director, this is the 38th officer-involved shooting that the state bureau is investigating this year.