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.”
“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.