This forum will focus on the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a political prisoner, and the Juveniles Lifers Without Parole in Michigan who are in prison, in violation of several U.S. Supreme Court rulings stating that such sentences are unconstitutional.
Guest speakers include:
Pam Africa, representing the International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Rev. Ed Pinkney, former political prisoner in Michigan
Who is Mumia Abu-Jamal?
*A worldwide movement stopped Mumia Abu-Jamal from being executed, getting him off death row. Mumia is ill but PA officials, in denying him adequate medical care, could cause his death unless we win his freedom soon. Why was Mumia framed? Check out the facts:
*As a 15 year-old spokesman for the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal was targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program for “surveillance” and “neutralization”, or assassination. A few years later Mumia was an award-winning radio journalist, the “voice of the voiceless” and outspoken defender of the MOVE organization.
*Frank Rizzo, the Police Commissioner and then Mayor who told his racist supporters to “vote white,” threatened Mumia for his reports challenging the police. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), and Democratic and Republican politicians clamoured for Mumia’s death and continue to try to silence him to this day.
*On December 9, 1981, Mumia was driving a cab to supplement his income and had a licensed gun for self defence. Dropping off a fare in the red-light district, Mumia heard gunshots and saw his brother staggering in the street. Mumia was shot by a uniformed police officer as he ran toward his brother. Witnesses state Faulkner was already shot and down before Mumia arrived on the scene.
*Mumia was beaten by a dozen police, rammed into a light pole, then thrown into a police wagon and beat again by Inspector Alphonso Giordano. It took over 30 minutes to get Mumia to the hospital just two blocks away. Mumia was beaten again when he arrived at the hospital. Critically wounded, the bullet went into Mumia’s chest, through his lung and lodged near his liver.
*The police and prosecution manufactured the evidence of Mumia’s guilt. The first photographs taken by a free-lance photographer after the shootings show Officer James Forbes holding two guns in his bare hands, making fingerprint testing impossible. The prosecution said Mumia stood over and shot directly down at Faulkner’s face, three bullets missed and struck the side walk. This would have torn into the concrete, leaving divots on the side walk. But the photographs show the side walk was totally smooth.
**Other proof the ballistics evidence was false: The medical examiner report says Faulkner was killed by a .44 caliber bullet. Mumia’s gun was a .38 calliber. The bullet from Faulkner’s head wound was never tested. The police testimony that a bullet from Mumia’s gun was “consistent” with the bullet found in Faulkner was true of “multiple millions” of guns. There was no on scene “smell test” for gunpowder that Mumia’s gun was fired. Mumia’s hands were not tested for gunpowder residue.
One of the two key prosecution witnesses, Robert Chobert, testified he was parked directly behind Faulkner’s cop car, yet the photographs show that space was empty. Chobert later admitted he testified against Mumia after being given a deal by the prosecution.
*The main prosecution witness, Cynthia White, was a prostitute who no other witness saw on the scene. Others later testified White admitted she lied because she was threatened by the police. Six witnesses, including Chobert, made statements the shooter ran from the scene. Two of these witnesses later testified they were threatened by police to lie.
*The prosecution suppressed evidence that at least one other person was on the scene that night. The courts have ruled to prevent the confession of a man who swore that he, not Mumia, shot Faulkner be heard in court.
*Philadelphia is over 40% African-American, yet only two of the jurors in Mumia’s trial were Black. Mumia was denied every right to due process that a criminal defendant is supposed to get.
*The trial judge, Albert Sabo, sentenced more people to death than any other judge in the U.S. In 2002 a court reporter disclosed that at the start of the 1982 trial, she overheard Judge Sabo say he was going “to help them fry the ‘n—r’.”
Pam Africa from Philly will be speaking at the April 20. 2019 Detroit forum.