ADC Wins Commitment for Revocation of Bond in Mosque Shooting
Washington D.C., June 27 — Following a formal request from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation‘s largest Arab-American membership organization, the Memphis District Attorney has filed a motion to revoke the bond of the man responsible for a shooting at a Memphis mosque last week. On June 20, a worshiper entering Masjid Al-Noor was shot in the leg by a man who lives next door to the mosque. The gunman then tried to enter the mosque, but found that the worshipers had locked the doors. He shot numerous rounds into the outside of the building, returning to his home to reload his shotgun at least once. The man was then apprehended by the police, but was released the next day on a mere $25,000 bond. The situation is especially volatile since he lives next door to the mosque.
ADC Legal Director Kamal Nawash has been acting as legal advisor to the mosque and victims, and, at the request of the mosque, spent 5 days in Memphis investigating the attack. Nawash questioned a dozen witnesses to the crime and those who had previous interactions with the perpetrator. Based on this information, Nawash contacted the District Attorney‘s office, and strongly challenged the bond release of the gunman. Nawash informed the DA that three members of the mosque report that, the day after his release on bond, the gunman had taunted them as they entered the mosque. The DA agreed to file a motion to revoke the gunman‘s bond.
Kamal Nawash also presented evidence to the DA that the shooting may well constitute a hate crime under Tennessee law, including accounts of numerous past instances when the gunman made hateful statements towards worshipers at the mosque, such as demands that they “go back where you come from.” The DA requested a detailed written summary of Nawash‘s investigation of the crime. Nawash also suggested meetings between the Mosque members and the DA‘s office in order to facilitate better communication between the worshipers and the authorities. The DA responded by inviting mosque members to meet with him at his office. Nawash also acted as legal advisor to the shooting victims during a four-hour long questioning of the witnesses by the FBI.
Nawash said “We are glad that the Memphis authorities are going to take the necessary steps to revoke the shooter‘s bond. There is no way in which this man should be walking the streets freely after committing such a dreadful crime. We are also confident that the District Attorney‘s office is now fully engaged in this case and has responded professionally to our intervention in this disturbing affair. ADC is committed to assist the mosque and its members to return to a life of safety and security and will act as their legal advisors as long as we can be of help.”