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Muslim Law Enforcement Officer Says Police Used Excessive Force During Raid Of His Santa Clara Home

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) -- A Muslim law enforcement officer in Santa Clara claims he was targeted by police prompting calls for an independent investigation.

Mohammed Moneeb is a customs officer who works at the Bay Area's three airports.

Last February, Moneeb's uncle was accused of stealing a $400 dashboard camera. The camera's owner told police the device had eventually ended up in Moneeb's possession.

Moneeb said officers forced their way into his house without a warrant and questioned him about it.

Apparently, Moneeb didn't like the way the conversation was going, and asked the officers to leave. They did. Then, 6 weeks later they came back.

Surveillance video shows the police raid that happened when they returned.

Search warrant in hand, authorities showed up with guns drawn, and arrested Moneeb. A team of officers, armed with assault rifles kicked open the door, and spent several hours searching the home.

They never found the dashboard camera. Months later, the camera's owner who accused Moneeb's father of stealing it, dropped the charges.

Now, Moneeb's lawyer Dan Mayfield said the raid was a retaliation with racist overtones.

"It's that kind of raw police power I see here, that needs to be reigned in," said Mayfield.

Muslim Law Enforcement Officer Says Police Used Excessive Force During Raid Of His Santa Clara Home

"This has been a pretty traumatic experience for our family," said Moneeb. "We have been residents of Santa Clara for the past 20 years and everybody was shocked."

"Officers were allegedly looking for the missing camera yet they did such things as squeeze the toothpaste and roll out the deodorant. More importantly, before raiding my client's house they had interviewed the co-defendant Mr. Aftab Chaudhry, who told the police that he had the camera," said Mayfield.

Santa Clara Police defended the raid.

"In this case the suspect was a federal law enforcement officer, believed to be armed, so our officers took precautions in this case," said Lt. Kurt Clarke.

Authorities said Mooneeb was being uncooperative.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) along with Mooneeb's attorney are calling for an independent investigation.

"The Santa Clara Police Department's decision to treat a local American Muslim family like a group of violent criminals over a missing $400 video camera is troubling and problematic," said Brice Hamack, CAIR California's northern California civil rights coordinator.

As part of the agreement to drop the charges, the camera's owner asked that the $400 value of the camera, be donated to charity.

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