SANTA CLARA — More than a dozen police officers armed with assault rifles and pistols stormed into a Santa Clara man’s front yard in late March, used a battering ram to bust into his house and ransacked the place looking for property they never found.
His alleged crime? Possession of a stolen $275 dashboard camera.
A judge last week dismissed the charges. But police still defend the heavily armed raid as appropriate.
A civil rights group, however, suspects another reason for the raid and subsequent felony prosecution: The suspect, Mohammad Moneeb, is Muslim. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has scheduled a Tuesday news conference to highlight the case as an example of what it says are excessive and unfair police tactics, followed by overzealous prosecution.
“I’m afraid an unconscious fear of Muslims has infiltrated our local police departments,” said Brice Hamack, a spokesman for the anti-discrimination group. “This whole situation was quite bizarre, inappropriate and excessive.”
The convoluted case stems from a dispute between Moneeb’s uncle and the victim, Muhammad Choudhry, who is also Muslim, over what happened to the 7-inch dashboard camera. The clash began after the uncle crashed a car he subleased from the victim. When the car owner complained to police that Moneeb ended up with the camera, police showed up unannounced at Moneeb’s tidy bungalow after midnight Feb. 10 to interview him. The raid occurred about six weeks later…
…”We stand by the case,” said Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke…
“What happened here is the raw use of police power,” said Mayfield, who has defended other Muslims in civil liberties cases. “Despite the facts, they seemed convinced he might be a terrorist.”
But Harman said it was Moneeb’s “uncooperative attitude, not his ethnicity” that raised suspicions when police arrived at his door at about 1:15 a.m. Feb. 10 to ask about the camera. “It is very unusual for a fellow cop not to have been helpful,” she said [Moneeb is an officer with the Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security]…
Read the whole thing yourself, but it sounds like more whining Muslims. Theft is theft and should the police visit over theft, one should be co-operative. With CAIR involved we will hear about endlessly.