Former BLM Movement Leader Arrested for Interfering in Homicide Probe: Police

May 3, 2021 Updated: May 3, 2021

A former leader of a movement in Iowa City that identifies with the ideals of Black Lives Matter has been arrested for allegedly interfering in a homicide investigation, police said.

Mazin M. Mohamedali, 20, was arrested Saturday, and faces one count of accessory after the fact, an aggravated misdemeanor, according to a criminal complaint filed in Johnson County District Court.

His arrest follows a fatal shooting during a suspected robbery at his Iowa residence in February.

Police say he failed to immediately call emergency services after the incident. He also later lied to investigators about the shooting’s circumstances and provided false descriptions of people involved, according to an affidavit filed by an officer.

According to court documents, the 20-year-old also deleted his mobile phone’s call history and the mobile phone application Snapchat, and in doing so, hid information from police that would have led them more quickly to the suspect in the shooting death, Sammy Hamed.

Mohamedali has identified himself as a former leader of the Iowa Freedom Riders—which describes itself as a racial justice and liberation group that believes in the ideals of Black Lives Matter. Iowa Freedom Riders also says it collectively works to “envision and realize a world where we treat each other with care & compassion instead of subscribing to the white supremacist, punitive system that is the prison industrial complex.”

He was previously arrested on charges stemming from the initial homicide probe. After conducting a search warrant at Mohamedali’s apartment on Feb. 24, police discovered 56.13 grams of marijuana and 42.5 ecstasy pills. He was arrested on two counts each of a controlled substance violation and Iowa drug tax stamp violation, and one count of keeping a drug house.

The 20-year-old is scheduled to go to trial for those charges on Aug. 24.

Mohamedali was also arrested last year during a Black Lives Matter riot, for which he faced six charges, including unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, and trespassing. He pleaded guilty to one simple misdemeanor—disorderly conduct—and the other charges were dismissed.

He was released shortly after being booked at the Johnson County Jail, according to jail records.

A September 2020 social media post from Mohamedali shows an image of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death during a police raid of her home in March 2020, with her death later becoming a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protests and riots last year.

In the image, the initials BLM, which stand for Black Lives Matter, are spray painted on the ground.

#justiceforbreonnataylor that’s all we need. Real indictments real respect keep the [expletive],” the Instagram photo’s caption reads.