Police told a homeless black Muslim man "Allah can't help you now" as an officer knelt on his neck before he later died. Shocking bodycam footage shows disabled Muhammad Abdul Muhaymin Jr being arrested outside a community centre in the Maryvale neighbourhood of Phoenix, Arizona, in January 2017. National civil rights group Muslim Advocates released the previously unseen video on Thursday, which includes Muhaymin, 43, calling out for Allah before being taunted.
"Allah? He's not going to help you right now," an officer can be heard saying. "Relax, dude. Stop moving. Stop resisting. You understand?"
An officer is shown kneeling on the homeless man's neck and he died not long after being taken into custody for an outstanding criminal warrant. Bodycam footage of the incident has been released before showing Muhaymin telling police he couldn't breathe but didn't feature officers mocking his religion. His sister Mussallina Muhaymin filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city in 2017 alleging excessive force and wrongful death, reports the Daily Mail.
She said on Thursday the city and police "targeted my brother for his race, they mocked him for his religion and disability, and then brutally killed him". Muhaymin suffered from PTSD and schizophrenia, his sister said. The officers involved have not been charged with any criminal offences or faced internal discipline for the incident. Muhaymin's family have compared his death to that of George Floyd who died after an officer knelt on his neck on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Police had been called to the centre to resolve a row involving Muhaymin over whether he could take his service dog into a public toilet. At the scene, they ran a records check and found he had failed to appear in court about a drug-paraphernalia possession charge. According to the family's lawsuit, an officer ordered Muhaymin to release his dog so he could be arrested - but he refused as he was worried about who would look after the animal. He screamed in pain as he was pushed to the ground and handcuffed.
Muhaymin was again forced to the ground in the car park as he was taken to a police vehicle, with officers warning him to stop struggling. He complained he couldn't breathe before going into cardiac arrest, the lawsuit states. Maricopa County Attorney's Office reviewed the incident but declined to bring charges in February 2018.
Police had requested transcripts and video from the arrest be blocked from release but this was denied in June by a federal judge. The city's attorneys accused a lawyer of Muhaymin's sister of inciting violence against police before putting in the block request.