Boston-Muslim Institutions: Press statement on viewing video of police shooting incident.

'Boston-Muslim Institutions’ Press statement on viewing video of police shooting incident.

A group of Clergy, Civil Rights leaders, and Muslim community leaders – Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, Imam Taalib Mahdee, Malika MacDonald-Rushdan, Nadeem Mazen, and Yusufi Vali – were invited by the Boston Police Commissioner William Evans to a viewing of the video footage from the shooting of Usaama Rahim. We applaud the Commissioner, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in this effort towards transparency. Transparency must be a cornerstone of this process for the community to understand what happened and to begin healing from this tragedy.

The video we saw was from a nearby Burger King Security camera which was a great distance from the altercation. In addition, it was raining that morning. The images on the video are small in scale because of the distance from the security camera and are smaller silhouettes.

Here is what we saw. A man (who the police informed us was Mr. Rahim) can be seen walking across the CVS parking lot to an area which is hidden behind a tree. The tree area is next to a main road and was not a bus stop. Three men (who the police informed us were plain clothes officers) approach Mr. Rahim near the tree area. As the three plain clothes officers get close to Mr. Rahim two additional men (who the police informed us were also officers) are seen running onto the scene and approach Mr. Rahim from either side. As soon as the additional officers approach Mr. Rahim you can see all officers back away. Mr. Rahim advances towards the officers, into the CVS parking lot where he is seen falling to the ground. The officers were in front of him at this time; it does not appear he was shot in the back. No weapons could be identified in the video; neither a knife nor a gun.

This is an ongoing investigation and the authorities were not at liberty to answer questions that shared anything beyond what was observed in the video. We have been assured the authorities will keep us informed of any new developments and will invite those present today back after the investigation is concluded.

The Boston-Muslim community has been shocked by this event. Towards that end, we plan to hold a community forum tomorrow (Thursday, June 4) at 7 pm at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center to come together as a community and to share as much as is known currently. Let us all collectively work as united Bostonians to ensure peace, safety, and security for all citizens moving forward.

This press statement was jointly crafted by Masjid Alhamdulillah, Masjid al-Quran, ICNA Relief Massachusetts and the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (

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