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Muslim Man Sues NYPD for Alleged Retaliatory Arrest at New York Mosque

Ishtiaq Ahmed, a 41-year-old Pakistani American taxi driver from Brooklyn, is suing the New York Police Department in federal court as he is demanding unspecified compensation and punitive damages for the upheaval the NYPD caused him and his family, writes George Joseph in today’s story, published in partnership with THE CITY.

Ahmed was arrested last year while volunteering at the Makki Masjid Muslim Community Center in Brooklyn for Jummah prayers — a busy weekly gathering. 

Some background: It was Ahmed’s responsibility to limit the number of worshippers in each prayer room to adhere to social distancing guidelines. So he allowed NYPD liaison Raja Gul, NYPD Inspector Richie Taylor, and another elderly Pakistani man into the main prayer space of the New York mosque. He then stuck out his hand, blocking the remaining community members and an NYPD community affairs officer from entering.

It’s clear from CCTV videos that there was no physical interaction between Ahmed and any of the community members. But he was arrested for allegedly physically attacking one of the community members who accompanied the officers into the mosque. 

Police records show Officer Natasha Moseley-Jones filed a report against Ahmed, claiming another congregant reported that he “grabbed” his arm and “shoved him out of the mosque” while the man was attempting to go inside to pray. Less than three months after his arrest, Brooklyn prosecutors dropped the case for lack of evidence. 

Ahmed faced several repercussions from the NYPD arrest as his New York taxi license was suspended while he was facing charges. He told Documented last month that the allegations destroyed his life and maintains his innocence. He claims New York law enforcement officials fabricated the claims, and he never would have imagined the NYPD would do such in the U.S.

Also Read: Outrage Over an Arrest Leads Mosque to Reevaluate Relationship with NYPD

New Updates: Internal Brooklyn District Attorney records show that Ahmed’s arrest is not the first time questions have been raised about Moseley-Jones’s paperwork and attitude. The investigations in the latest article disclose important information about her work history in 2008 and 2014. THE CITY’s investigations also reveal Ahmed’s arrest is not the first time the mosque has been on the NYPD’s radar. Find out more in the full report


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