Community leaders continue to demand justice for Abdul Kamal

Craig D. Frazier | 10/16/2014, 3:47 p.m.

Last week, the People’s Organization for Progress and local civil rights leaders joined the family of Abdul Kamal at a rally in front of the Essex County prosecutor’s office, demanding justice for the death of the Irvington man, shot and killed by police last November.

Police said that Abdul Kamal, 30, broke into his wife’s apartment on Stanley Street. According to authorities, he refused police officers’ commands to take his hands out of his pockets and was pepper sprayed before a total of 15 shots were fired, 10 of which struck him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“My son is dead,” Michelle Kamal, Abdul’s mother, told the AmNews. “For me there will never be closure. I have to deal with the fact that he is never coming back. Regardless if the officers involved get indicted and go to prison, there will never be closure.”

POP has organized a number of demonstrations since Kamal’s death and recently submitted a letter to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, asking his office to investigate the killing.

“A lot has not happened in regards to the case,” POP leader Larry Hamm told the AmNews. “We received news from some of our sources that a grand jury had been impaneled to determine whether the police officers involved in the shooting would be indicted. We came out to apply pressure before the grand jury process is over. We demand that the county prosecutor conduct a fair, impartial and unbiased investigation, bringing in all the witnesses and all the evidence.”

Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said, “Nothing has changed. We’re preparing the case for the grand jury.”