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FBI agent, Boston cop who fatally shot suspected ISIS follower in Roslindale will have to undergo questioning by his mother's lawyers

A federal judge ruled today it's too early for her to consider whether to dismiss a lawsuit against and FBI agent and a Boston Police detective by the mother of the man they shot in front of the Roslindale CVS in 2015 when, they say, he came at them with a large knife.

Instead, the FBI agent, identified in court documents only as John Doe 1, and the BPD detective, referred to as John Doe 2, will have to submit to discovery - pre-trial questioning - by Rahimah Rahim's lawyers, US District Court Judge Indira Talwani ruled today.

Only then, and after both sides make their arguments to her, she said, will she consider the two officers' request to dismiss the case because they say they have "qualified immunity" from a lawsuit, because they were carrying out their legitimate jobs as law-enforcement officers at the time.

The two based their request for dismissal in large part on a report by Suffolk County DA Dan Conley that exonerated them.

According to that report, law-enforcement officers, who were following Usaamah Rahim's activities as he allegedly plotted to kill professional Muslim hater Pamela Geller in New York, had listened to his phone call to his nephew the morning of June 2 in which he said he couldn't wait another week to go to New York and would instead start killing cops in Boston. When he walked from his Blue Ledge Drive apartment to a nearby bus stop on Washington Street, officers were ordered to keep him off a bus. Conley wrote that when the two law-enforcement officers approached him, he drew a large knife, refused repeated orders to drop it and waved it in a circular motion. When he approached them, the two shot him, hitting him three times and killing him.

But Talwani rejected Conley's report, at least for the purposes of determining qualified immunity, essentially because it was hearsay and because Rahimah Rahim's lawyers did not get the chance to talk to any of its sources. Although Conley quotes law-enforcement officers extensively, he was not, himself a witness to Usaamah Rahim's death or part of the investigation that preceded it, Talwani wrote.

She continued that without Conley's report, she did not have enough evidence to determine if Rahim's mother has enough of a case that the officers went too far in depriving her son of his Constitutional rights when they killed him to warrant sending the case to a jury, or if the agent and the detective provided enough proof that they were shielded by qualified immunity from a suit.

In sum, where Plaintiff has not had the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses on whose testimony Defendants rely, and where no discovery that might provide facts bearing on the reasonableness of Defendants' conduct in the totality of the circumstances has been permitted, the court cannot, at this time, find that Defendants “ha[ve] met [their] burden of coming forward with proof of the absence of any genuine issues of material fact," Celotex Corp, 477 U.S. at 322, as to whether Defendants violated Rahim's constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable seizure.

She added:

In a case like this one, where the court has found the facts on summary judgment insufficient to determine exactly what the particular conduct was, let alone whether it violated Rahim’s constitutional rights, the court cannot fairly rule on the immunity defense.

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Comments

I remember being so disgusted that day. Really, it should not be necessary to kill a person brandishing a knife in order to stop them, ESPECIALLY if you've been trailing that person, expect to confront them, etc. Ridiculous and shameful.

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Voting closed 22

was your disgust that day just based on your impression of what you heard from media without knowing any of the facts? Because I find that ridiculous and shameful.

If you watch the video of the incident that Adam linked below, the deceased is clearly moving towards officers as they are backing up away from him, and he is shot only when he moves towards an officer and is at a relatively close distance.

But I don't know, maybe you respond differently when a suspected ISIS follower is coming at you with a knife.

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Voting closed 56

That grainy footage from the CCtv is not clear so No, the deceased is Not clearly moving towards police. From the footage you cannot even say he was armed or made any threatening movements.

I hope this goes to trial, the family deserves a chance to say their part in court.

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Voting closed 16

Hmm. Let us remember that these officers fully expected this individual to be armed and dangerous. 1. Why were there only two to apprehend him? 2. Why wasn't someone with a Taser at the ready or someother non-lethal means of stopping him? 3. Last time I checked, people who've been shot in the legs can't move super fast. Why not shoot him in the legs? 4. How about running away? He wasn't a threat to anybody but the officers who sought to confront him. I get that they were scared and probably lost their presence of mind, but that's the only excuse I can think of–and it's not compelling. Sorry, I still think their gross incompetence and failure to anticipate resulted in someone's death.

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Voting closed 8

are you going to take the time to try to shoot his leg and possibly miss that smaller moving target or are you going to try shooting him in his torso which is a bigger target and more likely to stop him? You have two seconds to decide.
You want the officers to run away???? Seriously? It's their job to stop criminals not run away from danger. What if they had run away as you say and Rahim then ran into CVS and it became a hostage situation. Would that have been better?
Rahim approached officers holding a knife. What do you think he was going to do? People seem to purposely overlook the fact that if he had just stood still and at the very least just dropped his weapon, he would be alive today. Comply and stay alive!

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Voting closed 7

1. There were more there but they wanted to act quick (he said he was going to go kill someone)

2. You don't use non lethal weapons against lethal ones

3. It is against policy to shoot someone in the legs (because if you allowed that a cop could shoot someone in the heart and say he was trying to shoot someone in the legs or fire a warning shot)

4. You don't know if he has a gun to fire at you or not at that point.

5. Good thing it doesn't matter what you think for everyone involved.

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Voting closed 12

Wish I hadn't. Seeing a person being killed before my eyes was incredibly sad. He might have been a complete dirtbag, but this is America and we are supposed to be better than that. I stand by my assertion that they have no excuse for not being prepared to subdue him with other means. This did not need to happen. It shouldn't have happened. It was wrong, wrong wrong.

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Voting closed 9

Why would anyone want to join the force today? Years ago I would have loved that job, but you could not pay me enough today.

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Voting closed 29

You were likely never interested, or you would be a former cop nursing grievances, not a wannabe nursing proxy grievances.

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Voting closed 17

Honor, duty, commitment etc still matter, just like those (well, many) who join the military....

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Voting closed 13

Unfortunately not many do and we are scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality of the recruits the past few years.

This should be one of the hardest jobs to get. Now almost anyone is walking through the door. In trying to make things better, we may have inadvertently made them much, much worse.

- a Boston Cop

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Voting closed 15

If you aren't willing to do the job because the public is allowed to question your decisions, you shouldn't be allowed to do the job.

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Voting closed 15

So agent stops a knife attacking isis member and is is getting sued? America is so great.

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Voting closed 34

Well there's that pesky United States Constitution with it's meddling kids: due process, presumption of innocence and the rule of law, that always make things complicated.

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Voting closed 32

Pray tell, what does the United States Constitution delineate to protect oneself from knife attack.

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Voting closed 15

The stupidest thing about the case is that it's in federal court under the pretense of Fourth Amendment violations, instead of in state court, claiming wrongful death.

There are plenty of incidents involving BPD that seem to violate the 4th Amendment, especially ones involving guns and drugs found during routine traffic stops. This incident does not sound remotely like one of them.

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Voting closed 12

One of the law-enforcement officers involved was an FBI agent, which makes it a federal case. Granted, he only fired one of the three deadly shots, but, yeah, you could try telling that to the judge.

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Voting closed 20

Didn't I see a grainy video that showed much of this confrontation?

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Voting closed 13

And you can see it again here.

The judge's decision references the video; see above for the link to that.

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Voting closed 13

.

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Voting closed 9

Call me crazy, but I’m baffled as to why police officers aren’t equipped with tasers? That would allow them to deescalate a situation, and apprehend a suspect without always having to shoot them. A taser would be effective in most cases that don’t involve a suspect with a firearm such as this one.

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Voting closed 4

1st
They kinda suck, and "effective in most cases" sounds like an opinion without much basis in anything. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/27/729922975/despite-widespread-use-police-r...

2nd
Tasers are not "non-lethal", they are less lethal. Give someone a hammer and everything looks like a nail. Give Police tasers...

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Voting closed 7