OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma’s Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma City Police Department, claiming a American Muslim Air Force veteran is being targeted by the department.
Representatives for Saadiq Long say he’s been pulled over multiple times over the last several months and now they’re demanding answers.
“Our client, Saadiq Long, is a law abiding American citizen,” said Hannah Mullen, Attorney for CAIR. “He was born here in Oklahoma and served his country in the Air Force for 11 years. He pays his taxes, works hard and provides for his family. They are frightened that one day when Sadiq gets in his car to go to work or to run errands, he won’t come home.”
Attorneys from CAIR-Oklahoma say Long is on the FBI’s terror watch list, but he has no idea why.
“He has never been investigated, indicted, tried or convicted of any crime,” Mullen said. “The federal government has never provided any explanation for turning his life upside down and placing him on that list.”
CAIR claims every law enforcement agency in the country has access to the list but they believe OKCPD is using it to justify illegal traffic stops.
“The Oklahoma City Police Department uses cameras called automated license plate readers,” Mullin said. “It scans the license plates of every car that drives past them. When Saadiq drives past one of those police cameras, the system automatically alerts officers that Saadiq is on the watch list without providing any other information at all.”
“There’s no there’s nothing in Oklahoma law that compels the Oklahoma City Department to accept the terrorist watch list and to use it in any particular way and so that’s the issue that this lawsuit is about,” said Gadeir Abbas, Attorney for CAIR. “It’s about how the Oklahoma City Police Department is using the FBI secret racist list to pull innocent people over.”
“We will not tolerate it,” said Anthony Douglas, President of the Oklahoma State NAACP. “We will fight with CAIR ACLU and everyone to represent Mr. Long to the best of our ability. We do not want to see anybody racially profiled in the state of Oklahoma.”
Long sued the federal government in 2015 for his unexplained placement on the No Fly List and his name was removed – but his attorneys believe the actions of Oklahoma City Police suggest that his name is on several watchlist.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Oklahoma City office gave KFOR the following statement:
While the FBI does not confirm or deny an individual’s status on the watchlist, it should be noted that specific intelligence-related criteria must be met in order to be nominated. The privacy and civil liberties of the individual are protected at all steps in the watchlisting process, and a person cannot be added based on race, ethnicity, religion, or beliefs or activities protected by the First Amendment.
– FBI OKLAHOMA CITY
As for the lawsuit against OKCPD, the department tells us it will not comment on pending litigation.