Sgt. Mourad Mourad, one of the two New York City Police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray, recently declined a “Cop of the Year” award following community pressure.
Currently under an ongoing internal investigation for the controversial shooting, the officer refused the offer given by the NYPD Muslim Officers Society days before the annual awards ceremony last Thursday. The Egyptian immigrant had been chosen because he is a “very active” cop with “a lot of good arrests throughout his career," according to an officer in the group.
“To accept an award right now before the District Attorney’s office moves forward and closes the case would not be in the best interest of the public, the department, or in some ways [Mourad] himself,” said Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “This officer is not guilty of wrongdoing.”
Upon learning of the award in April, community leaders, civil rights advocates and Gray’s family and their supporters condemned the group’s choice.
“It’s an insult to the family and the community,” former city council member Charles Barron, a close ally to the Grays, told New York’s Amsterdam News. “There has been a pattern in the Police Department to reward cops who killed our Black youth.”
The Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition had also called on the revoking of the honor.
"In light of the serious issues surrounding Sergeant Mourad, we find it unconscionable that he would be considered for an award,” read a letter from MACLC.
"Furthermore, 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."
In 2013, Sgt. Mourad and his partner, Officer Jovaniel Cordova, were in plainclothes when they shot Gray seven times, killing the Black teenager who was on his way to a birthday party in Brooklyn. They claimed to have opened fire after seeing Gray with a weapon, but some witnesses argue that the young man was never armed.
While neither of the officers have been charged with a crime, both were the subject of three federal lawsuits for alleged civil rights violations, including wrongful arrests, illegal stops and the unnecessary use of force.
Gray’s family filed a federal lawsuit against Mourad, Cordova and the NYPD in April.
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