Arabs and Muslims wrongly rush to judgment in Oak Lawn police beating of teenager
A 17 year old boy who was caught with THC drugs and a semi-automatic weapon with only three active rounds and beaten to release the weapon has become a rally cry for some Arabs and Muslims who assert that the incident is about police brutality. Sadly none of the activists defending Hadi Abuatelah acknowledge or even question why he had a dangerous and illegal weapon or was in possession of THC. In this case, the Oak Lawn police did everything by the book and the suspect deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Police should also investigate the responsibility of his parents since he is a minor
By Ray Hanania
Last week, Perri Small, a friend and host at WVON Radio, Facebooked me asking what I thought of news reports of an Arab teenager who was beaten by Oak Lawn Police. She noted, sarcastically, I had “no compassion for Black boys.”
I had just heard of the incident which took place on Wednesday. Oak Lawn police stopped a vehicle that was missing a front license plate, smelled burnt cannabis in the car and asked the two teenagers to exit the vehicle to be patted down. (A video of the crime is viewable at the end of tis column)
One consented to be searched and nothing happened. But when passenger Hadi Abuatelah, 17, of Palos Hills, exited the vehicle, after being told to leave the bag in the car, he got put with the bag which looked like a military weapons satchel, Abuatelah ran and the police gave chase.
Police caught Abuatelah, tried to restrain and handcuff him, punching him repeatedly in the arm and face to force him to let go of the bag they said he was trying to reach into. A video tape showing only the beating quickly went viral.
Activists in the Arab and Muslim community immediately began protesting calling a press conference on Thursday and bringing in an official of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim American lawyer, the mother, and members of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) who all insisted the beating was “another example” of “police brutality” and “racist targeting” of a minority, this time an Arab Muslim.
CAIR’s Ahmad Rehab released a statement, “Regardless of the alleged infraction that led to the arrest, the video clearly shows a restrained teenager in submission, not resisting, being brutally beaten by three officers without justification. As a result, he has sustained internal bleeding to the head, a broken nose, and other bodily injuries, all fully avoidable. The issue here is excessive force and police brutality. Something we are seeing again and again and again.”
“Infraction?” Are you kidding me?
What about the weapon? Police found a Raven Arms P2 25 25 Calibre Semi Automatic weapon with three rounds of ammunition and a THC Vape cartridge which he later admitted to smoking.
What is a 17-year-old doing in a car with drugs with a 25 mm semi-automatic weapon with three live rounds of ammunition in a bag around his shoulder?
After protestors fiercely denounced the police, Oak Lawn Police Chief Daniel Vittorio acted quickly to respond to the accusations emphasizing the fact that the police suspected the teenager had a weapon. It makes sense. Why would he run? Nothing happened to the other teenager who wasn’t beaten.
Abuatelah was face down on the ground and police officers punched his arms repeatedly and his head to get him to release the satchel under his chest. Abuatelah resisted but finally relented. He and another officer were taken to the hospital for treatment.
I spoke to a witness who I know and who was in the drive-thru ordering a shawarma sandwich at Hakuna Matata restaurant at 6035 W. 95th Street, near where police finally caught the armed teenager.
Fearing the bullying from activists who will attack you when you question their claims, I’m not printing her name. She said she was waiting for her order when Abuatelah ran passed her car, followed by the police holding the weapons bag.
“It looked like a bag that you would hold a weapon and ammunition in,” she told me clearly frightened of what might be happening. “A police officer ran right passed me in the car through the drive-thru and they caught the teenager.”
Once the teenager was on the ground, she heard people at the restaurant come out yelling, “What did he do? Why are you beating him?”
When the boy finally released the weapons’ bag, he was handcuffed.
Imagine if Texas police had seen teenager Salvador Ramos carrying weapons his weapons-filled satchel on May 24 and they had grabbed him for suspicion. If he resisted, and police beat him to release the weapons, we would be denouncing them too as police brutality against a teenager.
But in the case of Ramos, he wasn’t seen carrying his weapons bag until he got to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where he massacred 19 young children and killed two teachers.
Why did Abuatelah have an illegal weapon, and what was he planning to do with it? And what about his parents and their responsibilities in all of this?
Those are questions some in the Arab and Muslim community don’t want to address. They’d rather denounce police as racists and bullies. He needs help but clearly, he won’t get it from the community.
Click here to watch the complete Police Video or use the widget below. (Don’t be an idiot like Shari. Watch the video below for the truth)
PS … Follow Ray Hanania on Twitter at Twitter.com/rayhanania. Fight back against #SocialMediaBigBrother
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