Mumia: 30 Years Later

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of numerous books, including "Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America," now available from ISI Books. Read Daniel's blog at www.flynnfiles.com.


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Mumia Abu-Jamal shot Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner in the back and then shot the wounded cop in the face thirty years ago today. As an anniversary present, the former Black Panther learned this week that prosecutors will not seek to reinstate the death penalty imposed by a jury selected by the defendant.

Abu-Jamal wasn’t just guilty. He was late. It’s not that radicals had tired of violence by his 1981 arrest. Weatherman remnants had helped murder two policemen and a security guard in a Nanuet, New York robbery of a Brink’s truck a few weeks earlier, and subsequently bombed numerous locations in and around Washington, DC. But the public, as stiff sentences suggested, had clearly tired of violent radicals. Huey Newton could murder an Oakland policeman in 1967 and find freedom a few years later. When a former Black Panther tried that in Philadelphia in 1981, a jury sentenced him to death. Despite evading that sentence, Abu-Jamal did not get away with murder. He has been incarcerated every day for the past three decades. The sixties had a bad eighties.

The times, but not the tactics, had changed. Mumia Abu-Jamal showed himself to be the identikit radical defendant.

He initially acted as own lawyer. He refused to enter a plea, refused to rise at the outset of courtroom proceedings, and demanded, more than one-hundred times, the presence of incarcerated Philadelphia cult leader John Africa, whom the defendant described as the best lawyer in the world. He called one judge a “bastard” and another a “black-robed conspirator.” Unsurprisingly, he found himself kicked out of courtrooms at least a half-dozen times during the duration of his trial. Following the determination of his guilt, he melodramatically proclaimed: “This decision today proves neither my guilt nor my innocence. It proves merely that the system is finished. Babylon is falling! Long live MOVE! Long live John Africa!”  The jury sentenced him to death, anyhow. Welcome to 1982.

From that first trial, Mumia attracted a “cult” following, as in small but passionate. They protested outside the courthouse and partook in a fracas within it. The “cult” following took on different connotations, as in mindless, when the death-row inmate became a delayed cause célèbre upon hiring a media-savvy defense team led by the late Leonard Weinglass in the mid-1990s. The Mumiacs insisted the police had faked the death of one witness to prevent her from recanting and that a .44 caliber round, inconsistent with Abu-Jamal’s .38 caliber revolver, had really caused Faulkner’s death—despite the appellant’s own ballistics expert rebutting this conspiracy theory on the witness stand.

A mythology engulfed Abu-Jamal that projected a persona not resembling the person. The back-cover copy of his Live from Death Row bestowed upon him a Peabody Award that he had never won. A common yarn spun by his admirers holds that police framed Abu-Jamal because of his explosive journalism. But he worked as a cab driver when he was arrested, and his stringer work on the A.M. dial had all but dried up. If the government had really conspired to silence a man who had been fired from a series of radio reporting jobs, they might have left him alone in his taxi. Charging the down-and-out driver with murder provided a megaphone, not a muzzle.

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  • aspacia

    This story is reported on Al Jizz. You know, from the area the promotes beheadings, maimings, stoning, etc., in the name of Islam.

  • myohmy

    "other injustices"?? The only injustice regarding Mumia is that he's still alive. There should be no "Mumia, 30 years later".

    • johnnywoods

      Fry Mumia!

  • T_Trent

    I'm not so sure they have moved on, or ever will. He is a fixture in the Occupy movement and on certain college campuses. He is deferred to as a writer and important human rights activist. Major NGOs are gearing up for the next round of advocacy for him. And he remains a potent international symbol of America's "evil."

    The damage is done. It needs to be undone.

  • BLJ

    This piece of garbage should be used for target practice at a police firing range. Anyone who supports this lowlife is a lowlife themself.

    • fisher_king

      I think it would be better to replace his tetanus boosters with saline.

  • Guest

    The next step will be clemency

    • BS77

      NO WAY!!!

    • johnnywoods

      At the very least this pig should die in prison.

      • Martel64

        That's what I fear, being the cynic that I am; based on the last 45 years of TRUE injustice deliberately done to Whites, don't be surprised if this devil gets out before it dies.

        • johnnywoods

          Hey Martel, You may be right but he will die one day and he will find that there is no parole from Hell.

          • Martel64

            Not even that is consolation to Maureen Faulkner or her children,they're lives are always in danger from Leftist psychos of every race, who ,like the Pavlov's Dogs, automatically believe a black has been railroaded,every time their convicted of murdering a White person, just because.

          • johnnywoods

            You are "preaching to the choir" my friend but mumia will get his due from GOD when he dies even from natural causes. Be sure of that! In the mean time I will pray for comfort and safety of the Faulkner family. I have noticed that many black people are said to have been "railroaded" for killing white folks but are never considered to be simply guilty of any criminal activity.

  • BS77

    Mumia:..Perhaps it is fitting that you did not get the death penalty and a quick exit…this way you can spend every day of your rotten life fantasizing about getting out…something that will NEVER happen. RIP Officer Faulkner. Condolences to the family ….

  • StephenD

    How far we have come as a people over these last 30 years huh? We have this cop killer spewing the same vitriolic nonsense some of our elected officials would be comfortable saying. Think about it, take his name off some of the statements and put Obama or Hillary next to it and tell me you can tell a difference. He is a reflection of us. I am ashamed.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Fry Mumia!

  • mrbean

    All this uninfomed idiots that say he is not guilty requires the jury believing that as he ran over to the policeman rousting his brother, someone else (whom no witness could see because apparently someone else was invisible) took Mumia's revolver from his cab, then walked over and shot the cop. The cop then turned around and shot not the invisible man firing the revolver at him, but by an inexplicable coincidence the man who owned the gun, apparently for no reason other than he was black. The invisible man then executed the cop, dropped the revolver, and strolled off whilst Mumia lay there bleeding. That's far beyond wild and the mysterious dude defense. That's even arguably beyond a mysterious alien landed from Mars defense. And for this rope haired dreadlocked chimpout Mumia still breathes.

  • mrbean

    The article is incorrect. The prosecuter asked the Supreme Court to overrule the Appellate Court (these courts are abti death penalty advocates and should be abolished) and reinstate Mumis's death penalty. The justices on Tuesday refused to get involved in the racially charged case. A federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing for Abu-Jamal after finding that the death-penalty instructions given to the jury at Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial were potentially misleading. Obscure legal babblespeak. This chimpout should have been worm food 25 tears ago,

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Mumia lives a lie and this is how the left justifies it's excessive falsity, make
    up your own truth daily. The Clintons are prime examples of false lives. I have
    heard it repeated throughout my life that those who reject the truth are apt to
    and happy to accept a lie in a heartbeat if it floats their boat and gains them
    closeness to what they desire, no matter how petty or selfish or grandiose
    and evil. The trajedy of Officer Fuller's plight is that he put the bullet in Mumia's
    rotten chest and not between his eyes…….After thirty years of not repenting
    it seems he will remain a hero of the left and reside permanently in the
    halls of the damned practicing the rant he will have for company, filling the
    eons of eternity as his song in hell, all alone……………………….William

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Why shouldn’t the whole Frank Rizzo police force have been shot down?

    • pagegl

      Why shouldn't all the Black Panthers and Weather Underground have been shot down?

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        That would only make more.

        • mrbean

          Maybe we can get Flipside in the crossfire as collateral damage! heh heh heh heh

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            heh heh heh

  • myohmy

    I hope Mumia never gets out. But if he does I sure hope justice will finally find him.

  • pagegl

    Mumia was, and probably still is, a coward. He didn't have the cojones to attempt his crime by coming at the cop from the front. He had to shoot the man in the back. He was just a wannabe terrorist.

  • vlad

    In all the years he's been incarcerated, the sob never once said he didn't do it. He's as guilty as sin and deserves to rot or be shot.

    • johnnywoods

      If they shoot him they should use a bullet impregnated with pork fat.

  • UCSPanther

    If there was justice, this backstabbing, bigotted excuse for a human being would have been swinging at the end of a rope a long time ago.

  • mlcblog

    I like this particular brand of justice. Mumia is left to rot in jail rather than becoming an international martyr with a hugely increased following. This way, he's just another punk full of hot air.

    I do send condolences to the officer's family in that they never had closure on this creep.

  • John_Kelly

    The Mainstream Press conveniently forgets to connect "Black Panthers" with the "Nation of Islam" which gets back to the root of the vitriolic, anti-American hatred of Mumia.

    This cowardly piece of trash Mumia Abu-Jamal​ shot Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner​ in the BACK and then shot the wounded cop in the face and NOW HAS THE "AUDACITY OF HOPE" to seek clemency.

    This is the kind of trash that invariably becomes a cause celebre for the cowardly liberals.

  • RonCarnine

    It is not unusual for attorneys and leftists to demonize the officer or the law enforcement agency during a trial. It is not unusual for newspapers to do the same thing. There is no doubt in this case that the guilty man is really guilty. The officer gets the death penalty and the murderer gets a bed, three squares a day and free medical care. Sure he is in jail, but he hasn't lost his freedom of speech but the officer sure has. So its up to us to speak for him and his family. As a cop who was injured in the line of duty and who saw his whole world turned upside down, who lives below the poverty line with his pension, experiences pain every day and has no health insurance, I feel for the officer and his family. Our society glorifies the guilty and demonizes the one who holds the line. What's next, Mumia day at Disney Land?

  • stanley Levy

    Isn't this the same murderer that Ed Asner and Susan Sarandon held a Concert for in New Jersey?

  • NN

    Why is that shitbag not fried yet?

    • Paige42986

      because his death sentence was over turned and they gave him life with out parole!

  • BS77

    That's because the left is famous for doing the "twist": It turns a murderer like Mumia into the victim and the victim into the "the responsible and guilty party ". Thus Mumia becomes a "hero" in the eyes of the Che T shirt wearing morons…and Officer Faulkner becomes the "villain". The left idolizes the vermin of the earth. Nothing new here.