An officer involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray has turned down a "Cop of the Year" award offered by the NYPD Muslim Officers Society.
Sergeant Mourad Mourad, who along with another NYPD officer fatally shot the East Flatbush teen last year on the suspicion that he was armed, declined to accept the award being presented on Thursday.
“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,” Sergeants Benevolent Association President Sergeant Ed Mullins told the Daily News.
Others felt much more strongly about the selection of Mourad for the honor, namely, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition. A letter penned to the society on April 30 read:
In light of the serious issues surrounding Sergeant Mourad, we find it unconscionable that he would be considered for an award. 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.
Please let us know in writing that the offer has been rescinded by this Friday, May 2nd. If the award is not rescinded, we will be taking further steps including organizing a protest at the time of your event, bringing further attention to the insult and harm of this unwarranted award.
Mourad was put on administrative leave following the March 2013 shooting—standard procedure whenever a member of the NYPD fires his or her weapon. He has not faced any charges, though Gray's family has filed their own lawsuit against Mourad, Officer Jovaniel Cordova and the NYPD last month.
Mourad and Cordova have both been the target of federal lawsuits in the past. Mourad was sued once in 2009 and twice in 2010, with allegations that include a stop-and-frisk incident in which Mourad and fellow cops allegedly pulled down a suspect's underwear, in addition to a claim of an illegal arrest in which the plaintiff says he was slammed into a car.