CAIR-Philadelphia, Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., to Announce Lawsuit Against U. of Delaware Over Unlawful Arrest of Former Christina School District Student

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 6/24/2024) – On Tuesday June 25, attorneys from the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) and Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., will hold a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, to announce their lawsuit against the University of Delaware and its police department for the June 2023 unlawful arrest of Mohammed Sanogo, a Muslim college student who was arrested on the night of his high school graduation. 

SEE: CAIR-Philadelphia, ACLU-Delaware Respond to UDPD’s Misleading Statement Regarding Unlawful Arrest of Delaware Resident Mohammed Sanogo

WATCH: Mohammed Sanogo and his mother present their story at CAIR-Philadelphia’s Banquet on March 2, 2024

WHAT: Press Conference Announcing Lawsuit against University of Delaware and its Police Department
WHO: Attorneys for Sanogo, Political and Community Leaders
WHEN: 10 a.m. on Tuesday June 25, 2024
WHERE: Peter Spencer Plaza, adjacent to J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building located at 844 King Street in Wilmington, DE
CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD; 617-401-5397 (mobile),

In a statement, attorney Peter Gallagher said: “Jacobs & Crumplar is happy to help Mohammed stand up for his rights. June 15, 2023, should have been spent in celebration of his achievement, in the company of family and friends; unfortunately, the memory of that day will be forever tarnished. We look forward to getting justice for Mohammed.”

CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said: “The lawsuit seeks to ensure other young American Muslims do not face what Mohammed experienced — driving while Black and Muslim, irresponsibly brought into the criminal justice system.”


Sanogo was unlawfully and violently arrested on June 15, 2023, by the University of Delaware (UD) Police officers following the June 15 graduation ceremony held by Christina School District at the UD Newark Campus. 

Following advocacy by CAIR-Philadelphia, the Delaware Muslim community, and continued questions raised by the Christina School District, the Delaware Attorney General dismissed the charges against Mohammed Sanogo. 

Last year, CAIR-Philadelphia issued a press release including the following statements as a corrective to UD’s biased response to charges being dropped against Mohammed. 

In a statement on August 1, 2023, Misty Seemans, Esq., from Delaware Public Defender’s Office who represented the family in criminal proceedings, noted:

“We are appreciative that the Delaware Department of Justice did the right thing here and dismissed these charges. Mohammed is an extraordinary young man with a demonstrated stellar academic and volunteer record. More than 40 people wrote character letters on his behalf, detailing what an intelligent, thoughtful and kind person Mohammed is. Our thanks also go to the community who supported Mohammed during this tough time. We received letters and additional information describing his summer volunteering cleaning a school building in Africa, helping pay for a friend’s religious pilgrimage, and volunteering at blood drives. At this time, he looks forward to starting college in the fall.”

In a statement provided to the Newark Post, Dr. Naveed Baqir, a Christina School District Board member, said:

“The carefully crafted and edited video released by UDPD has led to more questions than it answers. There is clearly someone speeding through the parking lot with someone hanging out of the window at some point, but it was neither Mohammad nor his car. The edited video shows dishonesty of UD to piece together an unrelated party’s reckless actions as a reason behind the decision to arrest Mohammad.”

Timothy Welbeck, Esq. Civil Rights Attorney for CAIR-Philadelphia said: “We call on UD Police to agree to a process of true accountability and communication with interested parties, including the Christina School District who has underlined they are seriously disturbed by the way their graduate was treated on the night of his graduation. It is crucial that the UD Police learn from their mistakes. This requires acknowledging harm done to an upstanding student such as Mohammed.”

“We need to take this incident very seriously,” said Shannon Griffin, Senior Policy Advisor at the ACLU of Delaware. “The University of Delaware has been allowed to really operate as they have for decades, pretty much unchallenged at least in any kind of serious way that would cause them to make substantial improvement. It is our responsibility to challenge the over-criminalization of learning environments that only works to fuel the school-to-prison pipeline, and call out these blatant instances of implicit bias that disproportionately impact Black and brown students causing them to experience harsher discipline than their white counterparts.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD; 617-401-5397 (mobile),

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