Video shows black Muslim shot by Boston police, FBI
US authorities on Monday released video of a black Muslim man as he is shot dead by police and the FBI in Boston.
The suspect is accused of having planned to behead police officers.
The grainy video was filmed by a surveillance camera fixed to a Burger King about 50 yards from the confrontation with Usaamah Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard, in a parking lot last week.
Police say Rahim was killed after he refused multiple demands to drop a military-style knife. Those demands are not audible, nor is the weapon clearly visible on the video.
The footage shows Rahim walking towards a bus stop, officers approaching him, then retreating and Rahim falling to the ground.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said he was releasing the video to clamp down on “rumors and bad information” as he continues to investigate whether Rahim’s killing was lawful.
“It’s become easier than ever for rumor, speculation and inaccurate information to fill the vacuum if reliable facts aren’t put out rapidly,” he said.
— ‘Illuminate the facts’ —
“For this reason, we’ve agreed to release certain video evidence earlier when it can help illuminate the facts, and when doing so won’t compromise the integrity of the investigation.”
It was just one piece of evidence among many, Conley said.
Rahim’s family initially claimed he was shot in the back at a bus stop. They were shown the footage last week before his funeral.
“This unravelled very quickly. I think they made the right call,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters Monday.
Muslim community leaders were also shown the video last week. Imam Abdullah Faaruuq said there was no evidence to back up a claim from Rahim’s brother that he had been shot in the back.
Neither was it clear what happened, but Rahim “was approaching them. They did back up,” Faaruuq acknowledged.
In court papers filed last week, the FBI accused Rahim of buying three military-style knives from Amazon and deciding to “go after” the “boys in blue” because they were “the easiest target.”
An alleged associate, David Wright, 25, has been charged with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation.
Rahim was allegedly “planning to engage in a violent attack in the United States” since May 26 — little over a week before his death.
On June 2, he allegedly telephoned Wright at 5:00 am to indicate that he planned to attack police officers. He was shot dead two hours later.
The court papers made no mention of when, where or how Rahim may have become susceptible to extremist Islamist thought.
A senior official warned recently that the United States launches a new investigation into suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria almost every day.
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