UPDATE: Mohammed Hizam, 18, charged with 2nd Degree Murder, Manslaughter, 2 counts Felony Firearm, arraigned Oct. 21, given $500,000 cash/surety bond
Wayne Co. Pros. Kym Worthy: “We cannot and will not rush to judgment on potential homicide cases. We will review them carefully and thoughtfully. I want to thank the detectives who worked around the clock with my staff on this case.”
Wayne Co. Jail records search: no results for the accused
East side Detroit father Joshua Lewis, 30, killed by gas station Mini-Mart clerk wh0 shot AK-47 rifle through safety glass Oct. 12
Clerk, said to be brother of 76 Mini-Mart station owner, arrested, charged Oct. 21, unclear whether he is still in custody
Family calls on community to boycott, shut station down
Release from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy Oct. 21:
“On October 12, 2020 at 10;45 p.m. it is alleged that gas station clerk Mohammed Hizam, 18 (DOB:11/21/01), of Hamtramck, fatally shot Joshua Lewis, 30, inside a gas station convenience store located in the 10070 block of Gratiot in the City of Detroit. It is alleged that the clerk observed Mr. Lewis breaking the glass of a Coin Pusher game of chance machine with a hammer. The defendant observed Mr. Lewis from enclosed glass portion of the store breaking into the machine. It is alleged that the defendant remained in the enclosed portion of the store, picked up a rifle, and fired one shot fatally striking Lewis. Hizam called 911, Detroit police arrived at the scene, investigated, and placed him under arrest. Mr. Lewis was pronounced deceased from a single gunshot wound to the chest.”
By sister Tiffany Lewis, from Joshua Lewis GoFundMe Page
October 12, 2020
Joshua Lewis was a loving father, brother, son, and husband. Monday, October 12, 2020, while patronizing the local 76 Gas Station located at 10070 Gratiot on Detroit’s east side, he was gunned down by an 18-year-old gas station attendant.
Josh was playing a video game that malfunctioned, taking his money. While attempting to shake the machine to get his cash back and posing no harm or threat to others, he was then shot by the clerk FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER THROUGH the bullet glass. Our loving brother suffered a fatal wound to the head from an AK47 assault rifle.
The community has shown up to support our family and subsequently shut down this unlicensed business whose owners and workers have disrespected and unjustly caused a tremendous loss to our community.
One comment: David Chami donated $500 From a middle-eastern civil rights attorney. I don’t know exactly what happened but Joshua didn’t need to die. Our communities should be working with – not against one another. My deepest condolences
COUNTY PROS. KYM WORTHY DECLINED WARRANT AFTER ARREST BY DPD, SAID CLERK FREED
By Diane Bukowski
October 17, 2020
DETROIT-– Despite prominent mainstream media reports on the killing of Joshua Lewis Oct. 12, the 76 Mini-Mart clerk arrested Oct. 12 for killing him has been released.
The clerk, who is the station owner’s brother according to WXYZ Channel 7, was arrested at the scene, and a DPD warrant request was submitted Oct. 14.
But Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy returned the warrant to Detroit police requesting extensive additional information, according to a release from her office. See:
Worthy wants police reports from every officer involved, the medical examiner’s report, the EMS run sheet, the witness list, and discovery for the defense, among other items. She said her office has returned 20 such warrant requests recently for similar reasons.
“Warrants are often rejected due to a lack of admissible evidence or a failure to fully garner all the available evidence at the initial stage,” the release says.
“An early legal review of the available evidence–when resources permit–along with the early collaboration between the WCPO and DPD, enhances the warrant review process and will be a savings in both time and effort.”
It would take longer than 48-72 hours for police to produce all the items listed, which is the amount of time a suspect can be held without an arraignment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991) that arrestees must be arraigned within 48 hours. Detroit police normally adhere to a 72 hour limit.
So the clerk was released Oct. 15, without arraignment, bond, or evaluation of his ability to flee the jurisdiction. Not even his name has been published. Many in the community say that Black detainees do not receive such cautious treatment.
“He should have stayed behind the safety of his glass and called the police if he was shoplifting. That didn’t give him a right to take somebody’s life,” said Zeek of New Era Detroit,” Channel 4 News reported. “Multiple organizations, like New Era Detroit and the People’s Action are trying to make sure nobody does business at the gas station anytime soon.”
The mainstream media reports that the 76 Mini-Mart has no business license. Wayne County Property Tax records say the current owner of the site at 10700 Gratiot is the “Bank of America Corporation ATT,” meaning the property was likely foreclosed. VOD was not able to locate any solid information about the previous owner’s name.
Unfortunately, incidents such as the killing of Joshua Lewis have occurred often in Detroit’s history.
In 1999, the city was on the brink of a mini-rebellion after Kalvin Porter, 34 and unarmed, was killed by two gas station clerks at a Sunoco gas station located blocks from the Mini-Mart, at Gratiot and Mack.
“The beating death of an unarmed black man in front of his children at a neighborhood gas station has sparked four days of protests here that have brought into the open the festering racial tensions between blacks and Arab-Americans who own many small businesses in the inner city,” the New York Times reported.
“The black man, Kalvin Porter, 34, got into a fight with two Arab-American clerks at the gas station [May 14, 1999] after one made an inappropriate remark to Mr. Porter’s 12-year-old stepdaughter, the police said. Mr. Porter, who was also accompanied by his four young children, was then beaten to death by the clerks, one of whom was carrying a lug wrench, according to police reports and Chief Benny Napoleon of the Detroit police. The clerks, Fadhel Mazeb, 46, and Adel Altam, 26, were charged with second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty. They remain in custody.”
This reporter, working for the Michigan Citizen weekly newspaper, covered the trial of the two clerks, who had immigrated from Yemen.
During a contentious trial, the judge declared a mistrial in Altam’s case. Mazeb was acquitted after the jury received no explanation about Altam’s disappearance from trial proceedings.
Fearing retaliation, the two fled the country afterwards.
The Michigan Citizen reported afterwards that the judge had received substantial campaign finance donations from suburban Middle Eastern business interests and professionals.
The same is true of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Various wealthy suburban Arab-American organizations including the Arab-American Political Action Committee held lucrative fund-raisers for her throughout her recent re-election campaign. Other beneficiaries of such largesse include Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and numerous judges of Wayne County’s Third Judicial Circuit Court.
“The dynamic is the same in every location,” Salim Muwakkil of the Baltimore Sun wrote in 1999 about the killing of Kalvin Porter.
“A culturally coherent immigrant group arrives with a work ethic and willingness to locate in America’s least attractive (but easily exploitable) neighborhoods — predominantly black inner cities. Although these neighborhoods have been victimized by economic disinvestment . . .many African-Americans nonetheless are angered by the commercial prominence and sometimes abrasive cultural differences of the immigrants.
“. . . When immigrant merchants step into this combustible socio-economic mix, they often become scapegoats,” Muwakkil said. “But they sometimes exacerbate the situation with either their racist assumptions — endemic to their culture or quickly assimilated from American society — or through simple cultural misunderstandings.”
Attorneys who sued Sunoco as well as the gas station owner for Kalvin Porter’s death broadened the perspective on his killing, noting that corporations such as Sunoco are predominantly responsible for the devastation of communities of color.