(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 1/26/2023) — The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) and the CAIR Legal Defense Fund (CAIR LDF) filed a lawsuit today against the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) for their unlawful targeting of a Muslim-American Air Force veteran based solely on his name being unlawfully included on a federal terror watchlist.
SEE: Complaint Filed against OKCPD
SEE: Emergency Motion Against OKCPD
VIDEO: American Muslim Veteran Unlawfully Arrested, Searched by Oklahoma City Police
Since November 2022, Saadiq Long has been pulled over by OKCPD officers numerous times, most notably a stop on January 12, 2023, which resulted in Long being handcuffed and arrested at gunpoint while his vehicle was searched. Long’s lawsuit alleges that OKCPD is targeting him solely based on his name’s presence on a federal terrorist watchlist in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
SEE: Stopped 5 times in 2 months, Saadiq Long seeks answers and protection with OKCPD lawsuit
“We’ve long known that American Muslims are being subjected to unlawful profiling,” said CAIR-OK Deputy Director Veronica Laizure. “We are seeing the consequences of the illegal watchlist put our community members in very real danger.”
“The watchlist is unconstitutional, racist, and Islamophobic,” said CAIR LDF Staff Attorney Hannah Mullen. “The Oklahoma City Police Department’s harassment of Saadiq based only on his inclusion on this illegal list violates his Fourth Amendment rights and must stop immediately.”
She noted that just yesterday, CAIR called on the Biden administration to suspend the FBI’s dissemination of two of their secret lists, which leaked copies show to be “almost entirely lists of Arabic and Muslim names.”
Saadiq Long, a Muslim-American Air Force veteran and native of Oklahoma, has experienced more than 10 years of harassment, targeting, and discrimination due to his name being placed on a federal terror watchlist.
In 2015, Long sued the federal government, arguing that his unexplained placement on the No Fly List and broader federal terrorist watchlist violated his constitutional and statutory rights. As a result, Long’s name was removed from the No Fly List. However, recent actions by the OKCPD suggest that his name still appears on federal watchlists. Mr. Long has never been charged or convicted of any terrorism-related crime.
SEE: Saadiq Long v. David Pekoske, No. 20-1406 (4th Cir. 2022)
Lawsuit: No-fly list has left Muslim Air Force veteran detained in Turkey
The No Fly List has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, including the one that resulted in Long’s removal.
It and other federal watchlists have been heavily criticized for their use of racial and ethnic profiling, particularly against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent.
CAIR-OK is Oklahoma’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: Veronica Laizure, Esq., CAIR-OK Deputy Director, email@example.com 405-430-9877; Gadeir Abbas, Senior Litigation Attorney, gAbbas@cair.com ; Hannah Mullen, Staff Attorney, hMullen@cair.com ; Lena Masri, National Litigation and Civil Rights Director, lMasri@cair.com