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Al-Marayati Talks About MPAC's Model of Engaging with Law Enforcement

November 13, 2013


Last week, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati was joined by LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing for a panel discussion organized by the University of Southern California Law School on prejudice, stereotypes and the law as it relates to Muslims.

Organized by Omar Noureldin, a USC law student and an MPAC Young Leader, the event was held at the home of USC law professor and author Jody Armour. Moderated by Tarek Shawky, a local defense attorney, the topics discussed included a comparison of the strategies of the LAPD and NYPD, racial profiling and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

"The fact that I can approach Chief Downing and propose changes to SARs -- all five of which he implemented -- is a testament to this police department’s engagement and a model for how the Muslim community can be involved," Al-Marayati said.  

"Prejudice under the law is a long standing issue that it is not unique to Muslims," Shawky said. "I think that a program like SARs further promotes stereotypes that negatively impact all of us. While some LAPD policies are highly problematic in my opinion, the good news is that MPAC is engaged with the department and has established a level of trust and communication that can help rectify some of these issues."

Downing presented a glowing characterization of MPAC, calling the organization and the American Muslim community two “essential parts in making the LAPD’s community-based policing more effective." Rather than a weakness, he said, the Muslim community has been a strength in making Los Angeles a more inclusive and diverse city.

 




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