PRESS RELEASE JUSTICE FOR AYYUB
JUSTICE DEFERRED AS AYYUB ABDUL-ALIM APPROACHES
TWO YEARS IN JAIL
Endless Delays Underscore Prosecution’s Already Weak Case
SPRINGFIELD, MA: On Friday November 15 at 8:00 a.m., friends, family and supporters of Springfield resident Ayyub Abdul-Alim will demonstrate for his freedom outside the Hampden County Hall of Justice at 50 State St in Springfield. The date will mark 707 days Ayyub has spent falsely imprisoned on three felony gun charges.
Springfield police planted a gun on Ayyub during an illegal stop and search in early December 2011. A motion is pending to have any evidence gained from that search suppressed due to its illegality, and is now tentatively scheduled to be heard next Thursday. If the motion is granted, Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni will be hard put to come up with any reason to keep Ayyub behind bars.
Background: Just after 7:00 p.m. on December 9, 2011, Ayyub Abdul-Alim closed up his store Nature’s Garden on State St in Springfield, and walked towards the Getty gas station near the intersection of State and Hancock Streets to get some milk before heading home. An alleged drug bust was occurring at the gas station when Ayyub approached from down the street. Under the orders of Officer Ronald Sheehan, Ayyub was detained by Officer Anthony Sowers and Officer Angel Berrios. Sheehan ordered Sowers and Berrios to search Ayyub for weapons. A police radio transcript shows that an initial search of Ayyub produced no weapons of any sort. After private communications between Sheehan and Berrios, Ayyub was strip searched outside and searched again by Berrios. Sowers approached Berrios with a handgun, which Berrios then held up as though he found it in Ayyub’s possession.
The current felony charges against Ayyub are unlawful possession of ammunition without an ID card – with a sentence enhancement – unlawful possession of a firearm – with a sentence enhancement – and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm. If convicted Ayyub could face 15 years in prison.