Autopsy: Detroit Imam Shot 20 Times

Muslim Leaders Say Slain Imam Was Mistreated

Published On: Oct 30 2012 12:40:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Feb 01 2010 07:25:53 AM EST
DEARBORN, Mich. -

Dearborn's police chief said he's approved the release of an autopsy report in the FBI's fatal shooting of a Detroit Muslim prayer leader but he's not commenting on the results.

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Chief Ronald Haddad told the media during a news conference Monday morning that the report is now available from the Wayne County medical examiner.

"There were multiple shots fired by multiple personnel at that location, and it happened in a very brief, short period of time," Haddad said.

The report reveals the Muslim Cleric Luqman Abdullah, 53, was shot 20 times in less than five seconds when the FBI raided a warehouse in Dearborn on Oct. 28.

Dr. Carl Schmidt, Wayne County's chief medical examiner, told the media the 20 shots caused 21 wounds, mostly on the left side of Abdullah's body, from the abdomen down.

?You cannot tell by the gunshot wounds whether he was lying down, standing up, sitting," Schmidt told reporters. "It is impossible to say which one was the fatal gunshot wound. It was a combination of gunshot wounds."

Schmidt said Abdullah did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting.

?We see many multiple gunshot wound cases, but I don?t remember police being involved in one that had as many gunshot wounds as this one,? Schmidt said.

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The FBI has said Abdullah fired shots at agents, killed an FBI dog and resisted arrest.

Schmidt said he can?t confirm if it was a bullet from Abdullah?s gun that killed the FBI dog.

Abdullah was wanted on charges of weapons violations and conspiracy to sell stolen goods. He was one of 11 people named in a criminal complaint.

The FBI also said Abdullah was accused of preaching anti-American rhetoric as the leader of a radical Muslim separatist group. His family denies it and there were no terror-related charges listed against him.

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A coalition of civil rights groups has sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department requesting a probe into Abdullah?s shooting.

The letter was sent in November by groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice.

The coalition seeks to know whether excessive force was used during the raid and Abdullah?s shooting.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of CAIR, said, despite the circumstances, Abdullah wasn?t treated right.

?If he was alive, why was a dog given preferential treatment and Medevaced to a veterinary hospital while he was not flown to the hospital?? Walid asked.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said he is also pushing for a separate investigation. He plans to hold a news conference Tuesday to protest.

Family and supporters gathered outside Dearborn's police headquarters during the new conference in protest.

"It took them this long to show us the autopsy or tell us about the autopsy report because obviously they're trying to cover something up," said Abdullah's son, Jamil Carswell.

Haddad said the time lapse in the release of the autopsy results were needed for a fair investigation.

"We had ballistic reports, we had firearm identification reports, we have eyewitnesses accounts and other evidence that we've recovered. We felt it was very important to have the objectivity of the Wayne County medical examiner to weigh in on this investigation," Haddad said.

Haddad refused to comment on the report and said an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

"I'm not going to engage in opinions on the use of force," Haddad said when asked if agents fired too many times. "Whether it clears them, whether they're prosecuted, it'll be up to the next level."

Haddad said it would take several more weeks before detectives finish their work and share their findings with the Michigan attorney general's office.

Attorney General Mike Cox will decided whether to clear the agents or charge them in connection with the shooting.