Still No Answers in the Police Shooting of Unarmed Muslim Law Student

Another questionable police shooting has occurred, this time involving the death of an unarmed Muslim law student.

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muslim law student

The victim, 26-year-old- Saif Al Ameri, was a national of the United Arab Emirates, attending law school at Case Western Reserve University. The shooting occurred shortly after Saif was reportedly seen driving erratically, leading to a crash. He fled into the woods, only to be hunted down and killed by a Hudson police officer. Representatives of the UAE embassy are demanding answers about the shooting.

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muslim law student

All we know is that Saif, who has been reported by family to never having consumed alcohol or drugs, was said to have been driving in a manner only described as “erratic.” He crashed his 2009 Toyota Camry, however, police haven’t mentioned the involvement of another vehicle. After crashing his car, he was seen fleeing into the woods. Unfortunately, we will never know what Saif was thinking, as he was never questioned by police prior to his being killed. Police describe the incident as a “struggle,” however, the officer is seen with his gun in hand long before shots were fired, indicating that there was never a physical struggle.

muslim law student

Saif was shot once to the head, once to the face and three times to the abdomen and legs. The Summit County Medical Examiner found that his cause of death was homicide caused by the shot to his head. Despite a search by law enforcement, no gun or weapon has been recovered. This brings up many questions, as to why the officer, identified as Officer Ryan Doran, handled an obviously frightened crash victim as though he were a grave threat. The dash cam footage from the start shows an already highly agitated officer leave his car and run after Saif. It is unclear as to why the officer approached Saif in such an aggressive manner.

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On the video, you can hear Doran shout, “Get down, or I’ll shoot.” Please note, that failure for the suspect to “get down” is never a legally justifiable reason to shoot. The failure to obey commands has to be accompanied by an overt act that the officer can articulate met the criteria of deadly force. Anything else is a blatant lie and a cover up. Saif was a small framed man living in a foreign country. With all the negative publicity on the news surrounding police, it’s no wonder he was frightened and ran. His fears were most likely a self-fulfilling prophecy.

muslim law student

The UAE Embassy has dispatched members to Ohio to ensure what they hope will be a “thorough, transparent and timely investigation.” This is the first police killing in recent years that has drawn the inspection of a foreign government to the killing of one of their citizens. The Embassy has also contacted the family and will serve as their legal representation. The Abu Dhabi Police have sent investigators to Ohio, where they met with the medical examiner and local law enforcement officials. Perhaps this additional layer of scrutiny will allow for the level of transparency we have yet to see in a police shooting investigation. Saif’s body was laid to rest in Abu Dhabi.


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