Mohammed Latifu says he wants answers after his 21-year-old brother, Pvt. Abdul Latifu died on Jan. 10 at Fort Rucker, a U.S. Army base in Alabama.
The Army says his death stemmed from injuries during an incident with another soldier.
“I want justice to be served,” said Mohammed.
What You Need To Know
- Pvt. Abdul Latifu died on Jan. 10 at Fort Rucker, a U.S. Army base in Alabama
- The Army says his death stemmed from injuries during an incident with another soldier
- The Army charged Pvt. Brian Jones with murder
“I was home and my dad called me and says, ‘We got a problem.’ I said ,‘What, dad?’ He said, 'Your brother passed.’ My phone dropped from my hand. I didn’t know what to do,” Mohammed explained.
The Army charged Pvt. Brian Jones with murder. Mohammed says the Army told him his brother got into an altercation with Jones, who was his roommate. Mohammed says his brother was not confrontational, and that he’s having a hard time accepting this news.
“In the 20 years of living that I’ve known him, he has not had one altercation. Very respectful, docile. Just a beautiful soul,” he said.
Abdul Latifu grew up in the Bronx and went to John Jay College before enlisting in the Army.
Mohammed says his other brother and sister are also soldiers and they inspired him to join. He was sent to Alabama in August, and was attending the Army Air Traffic Control Operator course at Fort Rucker.
In a statement, the Army called him a promising young soldier.
“The Bronx is deemed to be the most rough borough in NY. So for you to survive and leave the Bronx to go to one of the safest places and die at the hands of someone who is supposed to have your back come on. That’s absurd,” said Mohammed.
Mohammed says his mother and father are devastated.
They buried Latifu on Monday at a cemetery in New Jersey and are now waiting as the Army continues to investigate what happened. They say they want procedures in place to prevent others from being victimized.
“What are the drill sergeants doing? What are the superiors doing over there? What are the protocols or what procedures that they have where someone is being assaulted, someone is being sexually harassed, whatever the case is… bullied. What do you have in play to stop these things?” said Mohammed.
The family says they are going to Fort Rucker on Friday for a memorial.
Jones remains in custody and will be tried in military court. He faces a court martial.