Check out this week's interview with author J. Patrick O'Connor on the 'Prison Pipeline' show on Portland, OR radio station KBOO:
J. Patrick O'Connor is the author of the new book The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During O'Connor's SF Bay Area book tour this October, he was a guest on the 'Other Voices' television show, produced by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center. The one-hour show can be viewed here.
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At City Hall #1: O'Connor discusses why he thinks Kenneth Freeman was the actual shooter of PO Daniel Faulkner.
At City Hall #2: O'Connor criticizes the March 27, 2008 ruling by the Third Circuit court denying Mumia a new guilt-phase trial. Citing Judge Ambro's dissent, O'Connor that the court violated precedent and created new standards in denying Mumia's 'Batson' claim regarding racist jury selection.
At City Hall #3: O'Connor criticizes the recent denial of parole to the eight remaining MOVE 9 prisoners.
J. Patrick O'Connor's April, 2008 interview focusing on the frame-up, Kenneth Freeman, the March 27 court ruling, and Frank Rizzo's legacy--is featured below:
In his new book, O’Connor argues that Abu-Jamal was clearly framed by police, and that the actual shooter was a man named Kenneth Freeman. O’Connor criticizes the local media, who, he says "bought into the prosecution’s story line early on and has never been able to see this case for what it is: a framing of an innocent and peace loving man."
In his review of the recent book "Murdered by Mumia," O’Connor writes that "there’s a great deal to admire about Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner," but concludes that her "obsessive hate for Abu-Jamal has blinded her to the prosecutorial misconduct and judicial bias that plagued his trial and justifiably fueled his rise to a world stage. The real villains in her life were the police and prosecutors who framed Abu-Jamal for Officer Faulkner’s killing. They are the ones, not the long drawn out appellate process that has kept Abu-Jamal alive, who have denied her the closure she was due more than twenty-five years ago."
Advocates of Abu-Jamal's conviction and execution always say that a police frame-up of Abu-Jamal is a lunatic, far-fetched "conspiracy theory" that should be dismissed by any sane observer. What do you mean when you say he was "framed"? How was this done?
Mumia's early association with the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party marked him as a subversive to George Fencl, the chief inspector of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Civil Defense Bureau. His subsequent sympathetic coverage of MOVE while reporting for the local public radio station made him an avowed enemy of Mayor Frank Rizzo. Minutes after Officer Faulkner was shot at 3:55 a.m., Inspector Alfonzo Giordano – who reported directly to Fencl – took command of the crime scene and personally set in motion the framing of Abu-Jamal. It would be Giordano who claimed that Mumia told him in the paddy wagon that he dropped his gun after he shot Faulkner; it would be Giordano who arranged for prostitute Cynthia White and felon Robert Chobert to identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter. Giordano and White would be the D.A. Office’s only witnesses at the preliminary hearing to hold Abu-Jamal over for trial where Giordano repeated this "confession."
Giordano is as corrupt a police officer as one can imagine. For years he had been extorting kickbacks – personally averaging $3,000 per month – from Center City prostitutes, pimps and bar owners, which explains his early arrival at the crime scene. He knew Cynthia White and her pimp. He coerced her at the scene to identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter. She would be the only witness the D.A. had to claim to see Abu-Jamal holding a gun over Faulkner. In her original statement to the police – given within an hour of the shooting – she had Abu-Jamal running from the parking lot and from as far away as 10-yards firing off "four or five shots" at Faulkner before the officer fell. In her third interview with police detectives, given on December 17, she fine-tuned her statement to comport with the actual evidence in the case that Faulkner was shot at close range. (In one of the most sinister aspects of Abu-Jamal’s case, the police department waited until the Monday after Abu-Jamal’s conviction to "relieve" Giordano of his duties on what would prove to be well-founded "suspicions of corruption." Four years after Abu-Jamal’s trial, Giordano pled guilty to tax evasion in connection with those payouts and was sent to prison.)
Incredibly, the police arriving at the crime scene would later claim not to have conducted any tests to determine if Abu-Jamal had recently fired a gun by checking for powder residue on his hands or clothing, nor did they claim to even feel or smell his gun to determine if it had been recently fired. Tests such as these are so routine at murder scenes that it is almost inconceivable the police did not run them. It is more likely that they did not like the results of the tests.
From the outset, the investigation into the shooting death of Officer Faulkner was conducted with one goal in mind: to hang the crime on Mumia Abu-Jamal. There was no search for the truth, no attempt at providing the slain officer with the justice he deserved. Giordano handed Abu-Jamal to the D.A.’s Office with his own lie about Abu-Jamal confessing to him and packing off Cynthia White in a squad car to tell her concocted account of the shooting. When the D.A.’s Office was forced to back away from the corrupt Giordano, Assistant D.A. Joseph McGill elicited a new "confession" to replace Giordano’s in February when security guard Priscilla Durham and Officer Garry Bell, Faulkner’s best friend on the police force, responded to his promptings by saying they heard Abu-Jamal blurt out at the hospital, "I shot the mother-fucker and I hope the mother-fucker dies." Not one of the dozens of other officers present at the hospital would make such a claim. In fact, the two officers who accompanied Abu-Jamal from the time he was placed in the paddy wagon until he went into surgery, reported that he made no comments in signed statements given to detectives assigned to the case that morning.
The prosecution knew that its new "confession" could be skewered if Abu-Jamal’s defense attorney, Anthony Jackson, called the two officers who accompanied Abu-Jamal to the stand, so all the prosecution really had was Cynthia White. With White saying she saw it all from beginning to end, and willing to testify that she saw Abu-Jamal blow the helpless Faulkner’s brains out in ruthless cold blood, McGill had his case made, providing White’s credibility could survive Jackson’s cross-examination. McGill bet the entire case that it could, and despite the utter web of lies she told the jury, was right.
Read more here.