Videos show killing of Bos­ton ter­ror sus­pect

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Christine Mai-Duc and Tina Susman christine.maiduc@la­times.com tina.susman@la­times.com

Two grainy videos show­ing the mo­ments lead­ing up to the death of Usaamah Rahim don’t ap­pear to sup­port ear­lier claims that the man un­der FBI sur­veil­lance was shot in the back in a Bos­ton park­ing lot.

The videos, re­leased by Bos­ton au­thor­i­ties, show Rahim, 26, a pri­vate se­cu­rity of­fi­cer sus­pected of plot­ting to be­head law en­force­ment per­son­nel, walk­ing across the park­ing lot to a bus stop sec­onds be­fore au­thor­i­ties ap­proach, po­lice said.

At least five of­fi­cers are seen sur­round­ing Rahim, who seems to walk to­ward them at one point. As the in­ci­dent ap­pears to es­ca­late, a yel­low car parked nearby drives off. Shortly af­ter, Rahim ap­pears to dou­ble over and falls to the ground.

Po­lice said they opened fire when Rahim lunged at them with a knife. But the videos, from sur­veil­lance cam­eras at a Burger King about 50 yards away, do not clearly show the large knife po­lice have de­scribed Rahim as wield­ing.

Ini­tially, Rahim’s fam­ily dis­puted the po­lice ver­sion of events, and his brother, Imam Ibrahim Rahim, said his sib­ling had been shot in the back.

Suffolk County Dist. Atty. Daniel Con­ley, who re­leased the videos, said that he was do­ing so to help “tamp down ru­mors and bad in­for­ma­tion” and that he had not yet made a legal de­ter­mi­na­tion in the of­fi­cers’ use of force.

But Bos­ton Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Evans said the video “speaks for it­self ” and praised law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, say­ing they “averted a se­ri­ous tragedy that day.”

“It was ei­ther us or them, and thank God none of us were hurt,” said Evans, who added that Rahim was within “strik­ing dis­tance” of of­fi­cers and was given “many chances” to put down his weapon.

Rahim and his nephew, David Wright, 24, had been un­der law en­force­ment sur­veil­lance for at least sev­eral days and had dis­cussed Rahim’s plan to attack of­fi­cers, po­lice said.

Ac­cord­ing to a com­plaint filed against Wright, au­thor­i­ties in­ter­cepted a call Tues­day be­tween Wright and Rahim hours be­fore the shoot­ing in which Rahim said, “I’m just go­ing to … go af­ter them, those boys in blue,” a ref­er­ence to po­lice of­fi­cers, “’cause … it’s the eas­i­est tar­get.”

Af­ter the call, au­thor­i­ties said, Rahim left his house and headed to­ward a bus stop near a CVS phar­macy. When of­fi­cials with Bos­ton po­lice and the FBI ap­proached him with­out guns drawn, po­lice said, Rahim pulled out a large knife “un­pro­voked” and ig­nored com­mands to drop it be­fore be­ing shot to death.

Wright has been charged with con­spir­ing to de­stroy ev­i­dence; of­fi­cials said he told Rahim to get rid of his phone.

The FBI and dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice are con­duct­ing two use-of-force in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­lated to the in­ci­dent, of­fi­cials said.

Elise Amen­dola As­so­ci­ated Press

SUFFOLK COUNTY pros­e­cu­tor Pa­trick Hag­gan talks about the footage, which was too grainy to show whether Usaamah Rahim was car­ry­ing a big knife.

A SELF-POR­TRAIT of Usaamah Rahim. The 26-year-old had been un­der sur­veil­lance.

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