UPDATE, 1 June:
The Facebook page Justice For Feras Morad interviewed Morad’s friends Kamiran Dadah, Ryan Fobes, and two other eyewitnesses who chose to remain anonymous, and compiled their testimonies. Their account of the shooting can be read below.
ORIGINAL, 31 May:
Long Beach police killed unarmed 20-year-old college student Feras Morad on the night of 27 May. Witnesses say he was 20 feet from the officers and walking away when they shot him. No one informed Morad’s family.
NBC Los Angeles investigated the killing. The journalists interviewed the young man’s grieving father, who wept in despair.
Morad was at a party with friends from his school’s debate team when he took psychedelic mushrooms. He had a bad reaction to the drug and, while hallucinating, injured himself after he jumped through the window on the second floor of a building.
Worried for their friend, who cut himself on the glass and was bleeding, Morad’s friends called the police. The cops subsequently killed him.
Cops tased and beat Morad, yet claimed the slight young man still “threatened” them. Witnesses dispute this, saying Morad was in fact not a threat.
When a cop pulled out his gun, Morad’s friends shouted “Don’t shoot! He’s not armed!” The police shot and killed the young man anyway.
Friends who witnessed the killing say Morad, who did not have his glasses on at the time of the murder and could barely see, was in fact walking away from the police when they shot him. Witnesses also maintain that Morad was 20 feet away when the cops opened fire.
Adding insult to injury, after killing Morad, neither the police, nor the hospital to which he was taken, nor the LA county coroner’s office called to tell his family.
Morad’s 16-year-old sister says she only learned about the police killing of her brother through a friend’s Facebook status.
Not all networks did as good of a job reporting the story as NBC. In its coverage, in a masterful use of euphemism, ABC reported that “an officer-involved shooting ensued.” The “objective” corporate media is incapable of writing “the cop shot him.”
Witnesses’ Account of the Shooting
The Facebook page Justice For Feras Morad published the following account of the shooting, based on eyewitness testimony:
The following explanation of events comes from a collaboration of interviews from Kamiran Dadah, Ryan Fobes, and two other eyewitnesses that have chosen to remain anonymous for the time being:
At approximately 6:00 pm on May 27th, 2015, Feras Morad began to show symptoms of sensory degradation caused by ingesting psilocybin mushrooms. Witnesses report that by 7:00 pm, Morad was asking his friends where he was and what he was doing, but their answers did not seem to register with him. Approximately 25 minutes later, Morad broke through a second story window that shattered, dropping him onto the cement below. Kamiran Dadah immediately phoned the police and ran down the stairs to find Feras sitting on the ground, severely bleeding from a deep gash on his shoulder. Dadah and Fobes urged him to get back in the house, but Feras Morad stood and walked through an open gate and into the alley. The unnamed officer arrived alone in the alley and confronted Feras after stopping his car, telling him to raise his hands. Morad was not able to comply, and instead moved about aimlessly in the alley as witnesses yelled to the police officer that he was unarmed and in need of immediate medical attention.
Feras Morad was shirtless, without any weapon, bleeding from multiple wounds, and possibly suffering head trauma from the fall. Witnesses report that Morad did not threaten the officer. He did not physically swing, attack, or verbally indicate aggression toward the police officer or anyone else. Feras Morad was unable to comply with any of the officer’s demands for compliance and continued to be confused and injured, “like a bird with a broken wing hobbling around in the house”, one witness said. The officer was unable to immobilize Feras, but witnesses report there was no fight, just the police officer trying to subdue Feras. As Dadah and Fobes were moved from the scene by emergency personnel, they continued to scream that Feras was unarmed and in need of help as the unnamed police officer fired 3 shots, all on target.
We have recorded official statements from both people who were with Feras that night. Both Kamiran Dadah and Ryan Fobes are awaiting to see the official narrative that emerges from the Long Beach Police, at which point we will get in touch with the press and explain what happened in that detail.
“Justice For Feras Morad”
I spoke with students in LA who knew Morad. They say he was a great student, committed debate team member, and volunteer with the Muslim civil rights organization the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Morad had a 3.9 GPA and was a nationally ranked debater.
Feras’ sister Ghada and supporters have created a #Justice4Feras and #NotAnotherPoliceShooting social media campaign.
Ghada also created a HeadTalker campaign, encouraging others to share messages of support on social media.