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Emirati’s killing in US: UAE to determine further legal options

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Abu Dhabi: The UAE Embassy in Washington said it would look into further legal options in the killing of an Emirati student in Ohio after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who shot him dead.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Grand Jury’s decision regarding the death of Saif Al Ameri, an Emirati student at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law. Al Ameri’s death was a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family, and we will continue to support them in any way possible,” said a statement issued by the embassy on Thursday.

The UAE Embassy will also consult closely with Al Ameri’s family to determine additional legal options, the statement added.

The Ohio Attorney-General’s office said on Thursday that Hudson police officer Ryan Doran would not face criminal charges, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

Police had said Doran shot and killed 26-year-old Al Ameri on December 4, 2016. Authorities said Doran shot Al Ameri five times during a struggle after the law student fled the scene of a crash. Al Ameri, who was driving, lost control of his vehicle, which flipped, and he fled into nearby woods. Doran found Al Ameri and shot him after a scuffle, according to police accounts. The incident occurred on the Ohio Turnpike just outside Hudson, a small city of 25,000 people.

Al Ameri’s death was ruled a homicide and Doran, the accused officer, was on paid leave during the investigation.

A Washington Post database said 902 people died in US police shootings in 2016.

As Gulf News reported on February 19, the Ohio Attorney-General’s Office had confirmed that Al Ameri was unarmed at the time he was shot.

Officials from the Abu Dhabi Police Department had joined an embassy consular team in Hudson, Ohio, to represent Al Ameri’s family during the investigations. The UAE officials had met state investigators, the medical examiner and the Hudson police chief.

Nasser Al Ameri, the father of the student, had told Gulf News that he and his family were shocked at the news of the shooting and killing of Saif, who was his eldest son, in such a “horrific and ambiguous way”.

“Everyone knows that my son was an example of decency, ethics and commitment, and never known for any bad driving as claimed by the Ohio Police report,” the father said.

Saif has a younger brother, Abdullah Al Ameri, and two sisters.

The grieving father said that his son had completed his bachelor’s degree in law from the UAE University and earned an Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) scholarship to study for Master’s at the Western Reserve Case University.

“My son was an example of distinction and had an excellent relationship with the faculty and with fellow students. He was planning to join the National Service next year after graduation,” he said.

Hours before the incident, he had spoken to his son, who told him that he would be sitting for an exam the next day.

“Only hours later, we were shocked by the horrible news that he was shot and killed in such an appalling way,” he said.