Silver Spring man arrested after helping drunk neighbor

Ahmed is seen being pushed against the hood of a car by multiple Montgomery County police officers.

photo by SamEyeAre - Youtube

Ahmed is seen being pushed against the hood of a car by multiple Montgomery County police officers.

On November 17th, 23-year-old Samir Ahmed of Silver Spring, a black man, helped walk his intoxicated neighbor home. Moments later, Montgomery County police officers arrived on the scene and arrested him.

Residents of Ahmed’s neighborhood had originally called emergency services in order to get some assistance for the intoxicated man, who was seen falling on the street. Upon their arrival, Montgomery County police officers approached Ahmed claiming that someone had called them to assist an intoxicated male.

Even after the situation had been resolved, officers continued to probe Ahmed, asking him for the his neighbor’s exact street address, which Ahmed was reluctant to share. After complying with the officers request and their questioning, Ahmed explained how he carried the man home after seeing him intoxicated on the street. Ahmed was showing his ID to the officers prove that he lived in the neighborhood when an officer said, “I think you’re the intoxicated one”.

That’s when things escalated, as Ahmed was pressed against the hood of a car, surrounded by several uniformed officers, with his hands behind his back.

“He helped the man. He helped him!” a neighbor can be heard yelling, “Y’all got him detained for absolutely nothing!”

An 18-minute video of his arrest went viral on social media within a matter of days and was even shared on Instagram by celebrity-comedian D.L. Hughley.  In the video, an officer explains to concerned spectators that an officer “smelled an odor of marijuana coming from him.”

J. Wyndal Gordon, Ahmed’s attorney, told The Washington Post that he and his client “vehemently dispute that the officer smelled marijuana; you can’t smell marijuana in a baggie inside of his left coat pocket that hasn’t been burned.”

The incident has sparked widespread concerns within the Silver Spring community regarding racial profiling and police accountability. The Silver Spring Justice Coalition sent a charging letter to the Montgomery County Executive, Police Chief, and the State’s Attorney. The letter addresses concerns about potential collateral damage that could be suffered by Ahmed as a consequence of his arrest, including his “employment, ability to earn wages, and future employment prospects could be considerably impacted by these charges.”

“Given the publicly available video of the arrest, members of the Silver Spring Justice coalition are concerned that these charges represent over-policing of minorities, and inability to admit error on the part of MCPD.”

Ahmed, who is a music producer and engineer, is scheduled to appear in court in January of 2019.