A Milwaukee police detective has been charged with misconduct in public office after allegedly feeding information about a domestic violence investigation to the suspect – her 22-year-old son.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Detective Freedom Mustafa attempted to persuade the victim not to pursue charges against her son and helped him contact the victim directly while he was barred from doing so.
Mustafa, 48, has been with the Milwaukee Police Department since 2008 and was promoted to detective in September while an internal investigation into her conduct was active. She was paid more than $94,000 in 2020.
The Journal Sentinel was unable to reach an attorney representing Mustafa. She has been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement from the Police Department.
“The Milwaukee Police Department takes all allegations of criminal activity involving our personnel extremely seriously,” the statement said.
Misconduct in public offense is a felony with a maximum penalty of three and a half years in prison. Mustafa also faces misdemeanor counts of contact after a domestic abuse arrest and intimidating a victim.
Her son, Zhahir Mustafa, faces three felonies – including substantial battery and child abuse – and six misdemeanor charges stemming from separate incidents in January and August 2021 involving the mother of his child.
The complaints allege that Zhahir Mustafa brutalized the victim and repeatedly tried squeezing and striking her stomach. The victim was pregnant at the time of both incidents.
According to the criminal complaints:
In January, Zhahir Mustafa and the victim were on their way to a party when the victim found “insulting posts” that he made on social media. She asked him to take her home and refused to tell him why, which angered him.
As Zhahir Mustafa drove her home, he pulled over and attacked her at least three times because she wouldn’t answer him. He hit her in the head with a closed and open hand; squeezed her stomach; choked her; threw a lighter at her head, causing a laceration; struck her in an area where she suffered a gunshot wound the year before; and at one point removed her from the car and stomped on her head.
The victim was hospitalized for her injuries, which included a fracture in her spine and a concussion. She was unable to walk when police spoke to her.
Then, on Aug. 10, the two were again arguing over something on social media when Zhahir Mustafa punched her head and stomach. He left the home where the argument unfolded only to come back to a locked door. He kicked the door off its hinges.
The victim was hospitalized with a lacerated liver and visible bruises and swelling to her head, neck, shoulders, back and arms.
Zhahir Mustafa was arrested Aug. 24 and ordered not to have any contact with the victim for three days, a standard procedure for suspects of domestic violence. But that same day, while he was in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail, he used another inmate’s personal identification number to phone his mother and ask her for the victim’s phone number.
Freedom Mustafa provided the number, despite having arrested people under suspicion of domestic violence in the past.
Zhahir Mustafa called the victim 14 times during the three-day period he was not supposed to contact her and tried persuading her to drop the charges against him.
In subsequent phone calls between the mother and son, she told him that as long as the victim didn’t “press the issue you’ll probably be good.” When Zhahir Mustafa responded that the victim told him she would not do that, Freedom Mustafa said, “Yeah, well don’t talk about that because this is recorded and they’ll be trying to say you did something.”
Two days later, on Aug. 27, the victim called Zhahir Mustafa to tell him that his mother contacted her and scared her by talking about how long of a sentence he faced if convicted on the charges.
“That’s scaring me,” the victim said.
Zhahir Mustafa called his mother immediately after that conversation, and the two talked about the victim blocking the mother on social media. Freedom Mustafa then read her son word for word the contents of a report from his case that is not accessible to the general public but is available for officers.
The two connected a second time by phone the same day. Freedom Mustafa told her son she’d learned about an internal investigation focusing on whether she harbored Zhahir Mustafa when police were looking for him after the January incident.
She told her son not to talk to the victim about her and ended the call, but that was not the last time they would speak about the matter.
On Sept. 17, during Freedom Mustafa’s promotion ceremony, she spoke to her son on the phone and told him that police knew he asked a friend to contact the victim for him. She said police knew the friend was giving her money not to testify in court.
In October, a Milwaukee judge rescinded Zhahir Mustafa’s communication privileges in the jail.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee detective charged with misconduct in public office