The mother of a man fatally shot by a Boston police officer and an FBI agent outside the CVS on Washington Street in Roslindale in June, 2015 (as seen in the video above) has sued the FBI, alleging agents and Boston police officers planned to kill him even before he came at two of them with a knife.
In a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Boston this week, Rahimah Rahim charges the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which had been investigating her son Usaamah for several months after learning he wanted to behead an anti-Muslim activist in New York, knew he had ordered and received the large knife and yet did nothing to stop him before it intercepted a phone call early on June 2, 2015 in which he indicated he had decided to behead some Boston police officers instead and left his apartment in a complex behind the CVS to head for the bus stop in front of it.
On or about June 2, 2015, Defendants John Does (including [the two who shot him]), acting under the direction of the United States, and FBI JTTF unit, willfully, wantonly, maliciously and unlawfully killed Usaamah Abdullah Rahim by approaching Mr. Rahim with the premediated [sic] thought to shoot and kill him.
Rahimah Rahim's complaint quotes from a report by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office on her son's death to buttress her claims:
The defendants, including John Does 1-7 (encompassing [the agent and officer who shot him), knew or should have known that approaching Mr. Rahim in the manner which they chose, with approximately seven (7) officers and guns drawn, enhanced the risk of deadly force, and was contrary to good police procedure. The defendants failed to approach Mr. Rahim in a safe manner. Instead, they approached him in public, with weapons drawn, thereby enhancing the risk and hazard of deadly force.
As a result of the wrongful by agents and employees of the Defendant, United States, events that occurred that a reasonable prudent person would have foreseen in light of the circumstances set forth herein, including the assault, battery, and fatally shooting and wrongful death of Mr. Rahim. The tortious conduct of such employees was a material element and proximate cause in bringing about Mr. Rahim's seizure, assault, battery, and death. Plaintiff alleges that the defendants' actions were not objectively reasonable in light of the circumstances. ...
When numerous law enforcement officers approached Mr. Rahim with their guns already drawn as they approached him, he was in effect seized and excessive force was used during the stop, and seizure of Mr. Rahim.
The officers' response to Mr. Rahim, allegedly standing with a knife, was not reasonable in the circumstances. Particularly the area which Mr. Rahim was shot, was not reasonable given the circumstances, as he was holding a knife, and not a gun.
In the report, however, DA Dan Conley drew a different conclusion, that the two law-enforcement officers were entirely justified in shooting a man they knew planned to murder cops coming at them with "a large, military-style knife"
[Rahim] posed the threat of death or serious injury to the Task Force officers at the time of the shooting. Their use of deadly force was a lawful exercise of self-defense or defense of others and did not constitute a crime under Massachusetts law.
Rahimah Rahim is seeking unspecified damages.
In September, 2016, a Rhode Island man pleaded guilty to charges he conspired with Rahim and with Rahim's nephew on the beheading plot. In October, a jury convicted Rahim's nephew, an Everett resident, for his role in the planning of the attack on Pamela Geller and others.
Complete Rahim complaint (2.3M PDF).
Rahimah Rahim and Usaamah's brother, Ibrahim, at a press conference at the CVS parking lot two days after Usaamah Rahim's death: