The New York City Department police officer who killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray after shooting him seven times in 2013 has been named the recipient of the “Cop of the Year” award by the Muslim Officers Society. Sgt. Mourad Mourad, who has not faced any charges as a result of the shooting, declined the award and refused to attend the ceremony due to community pressure. Gray’s family and their supporters were outraged by the announcement that Mourad would receive the award.
“It’s an insult to the family and the community,” Former city council member Charles Barron, one of the Grays’ closest allies, told New York’s Amsterdam News. “There has been a pattern in the Police Department to reward cops who killed our Black youth.”
They weren’t the only ones:
In a letter calling for the NYPD Muslim Officers Society to rescind their decision, organizers with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition wrote, “we find it unconscionable that he would be considered for an award. The Muslim community is a community that stands up for the civil rights of others and is sensitive to the plight of marginalized communities who suffer the abuses of the NYPD.”
But fellow officers think he’s well deserving.
“He’s done a lot of work taking down criminals and taking a lot of guns and drugs off the street,” Lt. Adeel Rana told the New York Daily News on why he was originally chosen for the award. Mourad had also been honored by the department in 2011 with an award for outstanding police work.
Mourad, however, refused to take the award. According to Think Progress, Gray’s shooting wasn’t the only incident that opponents cited in their plea to the Muslim Officers Society to rescind the award. The officer had been named in three other civil rights lawsuits against the force. The allegations in the lawsuits include wrongful arrests, illegal stops, and the unnecessary use of force. In total, the lawsuits have cost the department $215,000 in settlements. Looks like he didn’t believe he deserved it either. To read more about Kimani Gray’s death, click here. SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout