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Community still seeks justice for Abdul Kamal

Craig D. Frazier | 5/22/2014, 2:02 p.m.

The People’s Organization for Progress recently organized a rally in Irvington in support of the family of Abdul Kamal, who was killed by police last November. They sent a message to the Essex County prosecutor’s office and the state attorney general demanding an investigation and indictment for the officers involved.

“We are here to memorialize the police brutality shooting of Abdul Kamal, who was killed on Stanley Street on Nov. 11, 2013. Today there are still no answers as to what happened in his murder,” Irvington NAACP President Kathleen Witcher told the AmNews. “We do know that 15 shots were fired when police arrived on the scene.”

Members of the Irvington Police Department responded to a domestic violence call on Stanley Street involving Kamal. Three officers fired 15 shots during the incident. Kamal was hit 10 times. Witcher said that witnesses were presented to the Essex County prosecutor’s office and have not been interviewed.

“I have spoken to other victims of police brutality and have come to the conclusion that some police officers, not all police officers, don’t deserve to wear a badge,” she continued. “Not all police use bad judgment, but many cases nationwide reveal police use bad judgment.”

The People’s Organization for Progress, a grassroots organization that works for racial, social and economic justice and peace, has been working closely with other community leaders, including Witcher, to pursue of justice for Kamal.

“We were told that the investigation might take nine months,” People’s Organization for Progress Chairman Lawrence Hamm told the AmNews. “We are in it for the long haul, and if need be, a federal investigation.”

Katherine Carter, a spokesperson for the Essex County prosecutor’s office, contacted the AmNews regarding the case. “The investigation is active and ongoing,” said Carter via email. “The matter will be presented to the grand jury.”