Al-Amin backers say he's threatened: Ga.
Joshua B. Good
(FULTON COUNTY, Ga.) - Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin's supporters say Fulton County sheriff's deputies are making threats against him.
And they are asking Gov. Roy Barnes to direct the GBI to investigate.
Al-Amin is in the Fulton County Jail awaiting trial. He is accused of killing Deputy Ricky Kinchen and wounding Deputy Aldranon English in a shootout March 16, 2000. He is being guarded by Kinchen and English's colleagues.
Nadim Ali, a member of Al-Amin's West End Mosque, said one deputy told inmates Al-Amin "would not make it to trial." Other inmates overheard another deputy saying "he was going to kill him," Ali said.
"We're really concerned about the fox guarding the henhouse," Ali said.
The sheriff's internal-affairs staff investigated, but was not "able to substantiate any of that . . . it's just not true," said Capt. David Chadd, spokesman for the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.
"Our people are more professional than that," Chadd said.
A group of local Muslim religious leaders held a news conference today and said they want an independent investigation to ensure Al-Amin makes it to trial.
"This sort of intimidation must stop," said William Abdur-Rahim, an imam, or prayer leader, of the Mu'Minun Mosque on Hank Aaron Drive in Atlanta.
Abdur-Rahim said he has a list of inmates who overheard the death threat. He also has the name of the deputy the inmates claim made the comment, but Abdur-Rahim said he did not want to give out the name at this time. He would provide the information to investigators, he said.
He said a quick and reliable investigation is important not only to ensure Al-Amin's safety, but to keep corruption from having any chance of starting at the Sheriff's Department.
"If it's not thoroughly investigated, we'll end up with some of the same silliness as what happened in DeKalb County," Abdur-Rahim said.
He was referring to the assassination of Derwin Brown, who was killed after being elected sheriff of DeKalb County. Brown had vowed to clean out corruption in the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. The investigation has focused on DeKalb sheriff's deputies who faced being fired when Brown took over.
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