MILWAUKEE — He has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but Milwaukee police are refusing to give a man who fired at suspected robbers inside an Aldi’s store near 76th and Villard, his gun back. Some are calling that a constitutional violation. Police say the gun is evidence, and part of their investigation.
On January 30th, Nazir Al-Mujaahid saw two robbers trying to grab cash at the Aldi’s grocery store near 76th and Villard. “Saw a shotgun with his arm straight, pointed at the cashier, threatened the lives of the clerk and the customers. I unholstered my weapon. The bullet actually went through his leg,” Al-Mujaahid said.
Both of the accused robbers were caught. Dierre Cotton was charged with armed robbery and armed robbery, party to a crime. Edyon Hibbler was charged with armed robbery, party to a crime. Cotton was hit once, and as seen in his mug shot, grazed by a bullet on his forehead.
Al-Mujaahid won’t face any charges, and has a concealed carry permit. However, he hasn’t seen his nine-millimeter since the January 30th incident. “It’s frustrating, to say the least,” Al-Mujaahid said.
Nik Clark, chairman and president of Wisconsin Carry, is asking the Milwaukee Police Department to return Al-Mujaahid’s firearm. He says they’ve had it for more than a month, and have demonstrated a pattern of keeping what’s not theirs. “It’s definitely an assault of his constitutional rights. Leadership of Milwaukee police has a policy, and believe that every gun they seize is a gun they won’t encounter in the future. What they’re ignoring is that a law-abiding citizen has a need and a right to protect themselves,” Clark said.
Police didn’t address the allegations of a pattern of abusing gun confiscation, but issued a statement saying: “Milwaukee police continue to investigate the armed robbery. The gun used by that customer is still considered evidence.”
Clark and Al-Mujaahid call that an excuse, not an explanation, and consider what could happen if the armed robbery case drags on. “We don’t believe there is any evidentiary value to the police of the gun at this time. The appeals process in this situation can go on for years. Does that mean (Al-Mujaahid) never gets his gun back?” Clark said.
Clark and Al-Mujaahid are considering legal action if the police do not return the gun. Neither specified a time-table on when, or if, that would be necessary.