Oakland Imam Ibrahim Rahim is clashing with law enforcement over the details of the death of his younger brother, Usaama Rahim, saying his brother was shot in the back and not lunging at officers in Boston with a large, military-style knife.
Video of the event appears to show Usaama Rahim lunging at the officers while the officers backed away, according to the Associated Press. A news conference in Boston on Wednesday indicated police had shown the video privately to community leaders in order to dispel Rahim’s account and prevent other rumors from spreading.
The Imam’s version was alleged based on a phone conversation during the clash between the suspect and their father, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Ibrahim Rahim is an Imam at the Lighthouse Mosque, in Oakland the Chronicle reports. A Facebook post regarding his version of Tuesday’s events states that his little brother was waiting for the bus to work when authorities shot him three times in the back. Imam Rahim stated that the last words from his little brother were “I can’t breathe.” These are familiar words: they are the dying words of Eric Garner, killed last year in a confrontation with New York police, and protesters have used them in chants, songs and on signs during cross-country protests claiming police racism and violence.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force had been watching the suspect for months, and had been tracking him more closely tn recent weeks, concerned that he and two associates may have been radicalized by ISIS, officials say. Boston police commissioner William Evans informed the public that the suspect was armed with a large, black knife when officers confronted him and refused to drop the knife when asked.
Police allowed Muslim leaders, including the Islamic Society of Boston–a short-term employer of the suspect in 2013–to view surveillance video of the incident after which ISB distanced itself from the suspect, according to a Hot Air report.
Police are looking for additional suspects.
Fox News has since confirmed that suspect Usaama Rahim intended to use the knife to behead police officers.
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