BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Blurry surveillance video raises new questions about the fatal shooting of a Boston man by terrorism investigators, his family said.
Usaamah Rahim‘s family insists the video, released by authorities Monday, doesn’t show the 26-year-old security guard brandishing a weapon or approaching officers aggressively.
They say many unanswered questions remain about the June 2 incident, including if deadly force was necessary and whether it was appropriate to approach Rahim in a “military-like formation” without a warrant.
Watch The Video:
“The family asks that the public keep an open mind,” it said in a statement. “The video reveals part of the story, but not the entire story.”
Local Imam and Rahim family supporter Abdullah Farooq said Tuesday that the police operation was poorly planned.
“They did it in a public mall with a school bus going by. This is dangerous and reckless,” he said.
Farooq believes the family should ask for an independent investigation.
“There’s ways to take him down, they know,” he said. “We’re one of the most advanced countries of the world. . . and we can’t capture a boy with a knife?”
Authorities said the video confirms officers acted responsibly, drawing their guns only after backing away and giving Rahim multiple chances to drop the military-style knife he was holding.
“We averted a serious tragedy that day,” Police Commissioner William Evans said at a news conference where the video was released. “I don’t think he was going to go down very easy. …We can second-guess this, but it unraveled so quickly. I believe my officers acted responsibly.”
Watch Evans Defend Officers’ Actions:
The FBI and Boston police said they had Rahim, who is black and Muslim, under 24-hour surveillance and had intercepted conversations suggesting he planned to carry out an attack on police.
The brief video, which has no audio, shows a man identified by police as Rahim walking through a parking lot on his way to a bus stop in the city’s Roslindale neighborhood.
Six officers, who authorities say were in plainclothes, approach Rahim but appear to back up as Rahim advances toward them.
The officers encircle Rahim and then draw their firearms. Rahim, who is mostly obscured by a light pole during the altercation, falls to the ground a few moments later.
Police said two officers — an FBI agent and a police officer — fired three shots.
Authorities last week showed the video to black and Muslim community leaders and Rahim’s family.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports:
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