U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani is a national security threat. Usaamah Rahim attacked Boston police en route to a beheading terror plot in New York.
A grand jury has already reviewed all facts and video evidence of the shooting and determined the shooting was justified, but Judge Talwani does not believe that investigation was enough to justify the shooting.
Joint Terrorism Task Force members who shot domestic terrorist lose qualified immunity thanks to Boston judge
By: Chris Elliot| Law Enforcement Today | December 8, 2020 |
BOSTON, MA – In 2015, officers on the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) made contact with suspected domestic terrorist Usaamah Rahim.
During the encounter, Rahim drew a knife and was shot and killed by members of the task force. Although the shooting was ruled justified self-defense in 2016, a federal judge has just allowed the officers to be sued, denying them qualified immunity.
Rahimah Rahim, the mother of Usaamah Rahim, has been working to sue the police officers who killed her son. Rahimah intends to sue the FBI agent and the Boston police officer for unreasonable search and seizure, a move that was blocked until December 2. That is when a federal judge denied the officers qualified immunity and allowed the lawsuit to move forward.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani allows the lawsuit to move forward to a discovery phase where both sides can request evidence from the other as they prepare for a potential jury. Talwani, in her decision, said that it was important that the officers considered “less hurried decisions made leading up to that moment.”
Talwani believes that Rahimah was not given the opportunity to question the officers or review any facts related to whether or not the shooting of Usaamah was justified.
A grand jury has already reviewed all facts and video evidence of the shooting and determined the shooting was justified, but Talwani does not believe that investigation was enough to justify the shooting.
After hearing of the decision, Rahimah said:
“It gave me hope that if she’s looking at it that closely and giving us a chance to see some of the things or question some of the things and find those missing pieces and bring them to light, that there’s a chance for us to get justice for Usaamah.”
The incident stemmed from a terrorism investigation in which Usaamah and another person had plotted to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller. They allegedly wanted to kill her because of a cartoon contest on her site featuring Muhammad.
Instead of following through on finding and beheading Geller, Usaamah focused on killing police officers because he did not want to wait any longer to commit bloodshed. One of Usaamah’s accomplices, David Wright, AKA Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, allegedly told the FBI that he was aware of Usaamah’s intentions to kill police officers.
When members of the JTTF, which was comprised of federal and local officers, became aware of threats made to law enforcement and murders of police officers planned to occur within two days of their receiving the information, they decided time was of the essence and Usaamah Rahim needed to be interviewed. Officers conducted surveillance and located him as he was walking near a CVS in Boston.
When officers approached him and identified who they were, Usaamah pulled what was described as a military-styled knife and turned to face them. Officers drew their firearms and gave Usaamah repeated orders to stand down and to drop the knife, all of which he ignored.
Officers attempted to retreat before they were ultimately forced to fire. A Boston officer and an FBI agent struck Usaamah three times in the chest. Usaamah died from his injuries.
Usaamah’s brother, Ibrahim Rahim, claimed on social media claiming the officers had shot his brother in the back in cold blood. After hearing this misinformation, authorities released video surveillance of the suspected domestic terrorist, in fact, armed and advancing towards officers before he was shot.
The video was shown to Darnell Williams of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, who agreed that the video footage showed the officers’ account of the situation was correct. Other leaders in the area, like Abdullah Faaruuq, would not admit that the shooting appeared justified, but did admit that it did not appear that Usaamah was following officer’s commands.