The family of a 26-year-old man shot dead by Boston police and FBI agents Tuesday gathered in the parking lot of the Roslindale CVS where he was killed to call for a “complete and transparent investigation.”
The veiled mother of Usaama Rahim – who prosecutors say called a friend to plot killing "boys in blue" in Massachusetts the morning he was shot – broke down in tears as her lawyer said the family wanted to know the truth about what happened in the Washington Street parking lot as much as anyone.
“What the family wants to do is enter into a joint relationship with investigators to get to the truth,” Ronald Sullivan, a Harvard Law School professor, said. “The facts will lead us where the facts lead us."
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Already, on Wednesday, members of the Boston Police invited the family, as well as local Muslim and black leaders to view surveillance footage of the shooting, which was not yet released to the public.
"We salute Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley for showing the surveillance footage to the family and its lawyers in advanced of the public seeing it,” Sullivan said. “We trust that such transparency will be extended to the family throughout the course of this investigation.”
But Sullivan added that the officers had approached Rahim without a warrant and without suspicion of any illegal activities, contradicting prosecutors statements that they have evidence that Rahim was planning to decapitate a member of law enforcement.
Rahim had been under surveillance for at least three years and was under 24/7 watch for the last three weeks.
He had allegedly been in contact with his nephew, David Wright, who was arrested Tuesday evening and was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice. He'd joked in wire-tapped phone conversations with Wright about “thinking with your head on your chest,” which Special Agent Joseph Galietta described as “a reference of some foreign terrorist organizations to behead targets and place their heads on their chests in propaganda videos” in an affidavit.
But members of his family fear his race may have played a role.
"If he were not Muslim, we would not be hearing the word ‘terrorism.’ We wouldn’t be talking about ISIS,” said Rahim’s aunt, who identified herself as Karen.
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of Masjid for the Praising of Allah said Rahim would infrequently attend the Friday prayer at the mosque and showed no visible sign of being radicalized.
"I don’t not believe that whatever transpired warranted him to be killed,” They can capture elephants without killing them.
Faaruuq saw footage of the shooting, which he said was inconclusive. He said that officers, who were not in uniform, approached Rahim, who “wagged his tongue and seemingly said inappropriate things.” The five members of law enforcement backed up a few paces before opening fire.
“I am very concerned without public safety,” Faaruuq said. “As I saw in the film, there was a school bus going by in the morning with children going to school. I believe this shooting was very reckless and it lead to the young man’s death. I think the young man put his head in the jaws of a lion and it got crushed.”
Rahim is set to be buried in Canton today.