Man accuses Santa Clara police of targeting him because of his religion

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara police are being accused by a man of using excessive force and targeting him because he's Muslim.

The accuser is a Federal Homeland Security agent, but police deny any wrongdoing.

Police stand by what they did when they showed up at the home of Mohammad Moneeb in March.

At least a dozen officers moved in on his home, assault weapons and service guns drawn. A short time later, a battering ram was brought in to bust down the front door.

It looked like a drug bust, but officers were searching for a $300 dashboard camera.

"This has been a pretty traumatic experience for our family," Moneeb said, who believes that the police were out of line.

Moneeb, 26, is a Federal Homeland Security agent accused of stealing the camera from a relative.

According to photos provided by Moneeb, police looked all over the house for it but never found it.

"We've been a resident of Santa Clara for the past 20 years and everybody was shocked about what happened," Moneeb said.

A judge dismissed the case but it's not over.

Moneeb's attorney says police used excessive force and targeted him because he's Muslim.

"It's a question of the overuse of police power against a person in part because of his religion and because of their assumptions about the connection between that religion and terrorism," Moneeb's attorney Dan Mayfield said.

Police say the use of force was appropriate and Moneeb being Muslim was irrelevant.

"This response was within our procedures in investigating law enforcement officers, especially in this case, being a federal law enforcement officer. We have the public trust in this case and we believe the public holds us to a higher standard and theft in this case is pretty serious," Santa Clara Police Department's Lt. Kurt Clarke said.

Moneeb is still facing an internal investigation by Homeland Security. While that plays out, his gun has been taken away and he has been assigned to a desk job.
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