LOS ANGELES (FinalCall.com) – The first hearing in the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) brutal attack against Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister Tony Muhammad was held Oct. 27 at the Los Angeles Criminal Court Building. While the session pertained to Robert X (Carr)–the only member of Min. Tony’s security team to face any charges–many are wondering why, despite police claims that Min. Tony assaulted them, he still has not been charged with committing any crime.
Min. Tony arrived for his 8:30 a.m. hearing dressed in a crisp, dark blue suit, and was met by his attorneys and approximately 100 orderly Registered Muslims.
“A man can only be what he is strengthened for. I’m in high spirits, striving to be cleared and seen,” he told the Final Call, while giving a thumbs up sign on his way into the courtroom.
According to his attorney, Brian Dunn, a partner with the Cochran Firm (founded by legendary senior law partner, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.), the actual charge against him is resisting arrest with force. Bro. Robert and several other Muslim Brothers were taken into police custody while trying to protect Min. Tony from a police mob attack during a community prayer vigil Aug. 25.
In addition to the Muslims, approximately a dozen uniformed LAPD officers and County Sheriff deputies saturated Division 31/Room 3-305 to observe the session. But, at the request of Bro. Robert’s attorneys, Judge Hank Goldberg continued the hearing to Dec. 22.
Atty. Dunn continued, “PC69 normally this is not even something that you’d go to jail for. That’s a misdemeanor or could be charged as a felony, but in a situation like this where no officer was hurt, almost always the charges are a misdemeanor.”
He informed that the prosecutors have alleged that this charge is a third strike for Bro. Robert, and have tried to get his $50,000 bail raised, but the judge denied an increase.
In his outline of the case, Atty. Dunn explained that, “These are ‘cover’ charges, meaning they have little to do with Bro. Robert, and more to do with a situation where the police department made some mistakes out there in the way they responded, and dealt with the Brothers, ultimately in using excessive force.”
He observed that the case was “a criminal prosecution arising out of overreaction” that he said he believed was “intended to absolve the officers of liability.” He further pointed out that, in these situations, what the police “typically try to do is say essentially that it’s not their fault, they blame the victim.” He concluded, “The police commit an assault and then charge the defendant with assaulting them and that’s what’s going on here.”
Atty. Dunn also highlighted the confusion over the case of Min. Tony, since no charges have been brought against him. “We are trying to find out exactly what’s going to happen in that regard, but we don’t think the case against him really has any merit,” he observed.
Shawn Chapman Holley, also a Cochran firm partner, cupped her hands over her mouth in awe at first glance of the team of supporters standing with Min. Tony behind Bro. Robert. “In all my years, I’ve never seen anything like this. This is beautiful. I was about to cry,” she stated, before taking a picture of the group.
“The criminal court system is designed to put people away as efficiently and painlessly as possible. It’s like a machine. When you show up like that and say this is not going to be business as usual,” Atty. Dunn remarked, “it makes them realize that this is a human being who has a lot of support in the community, and we better make sure that this case is really something, make sure that our case has merit.”
Carol Muhammad said that the Muslims were simply performing their duty to their Brother. “I caught one bus and two trains all the way from Long Beach, because we must support him,” she shared. “He shouldn’t stand alone in court.”