FOP Protests French Consulate
Local FOP protests naming of street after Mumia Abu-Jamal in France
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 gathered outside the French Consulate in Center City today - Bastille Day - in a noon demonstration to protest the naming of a street in a Paris suburb after Mumia Abu-Jamal.
"We're hoping that as a result of having our peaceful demonstration here today, the public would realize [what's been done], they'll call the French Consulate and they'll ask them politely to please, please just change the name," said Bobby Eddis, president of Lodge 5, one of 30 police officers from Philadelphia and the region who participated in the two-hour protest in the 1600 block of Market Street.
The officers handed out flyers to officer workers and other passerbys explaining the demonstration and seeking support to change the street name.
On April 29, the city of of Saint-Denis named a street after Abu-Jamal, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Abu-Jamal is on death row, awaiting an appeal of the case.
Because of the Bastille Day holiday current representatives of the consulate were not immediately available for comment.
However, Daniele Thomas Easton, the former consulate in Philadelphia, said the decision by Saint Denis to name the street was "a decision done locally, not at all a reflection of how French people may feel or the French government."
Easton, who said she was speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of the consulate, said Abu-Jamal was seen by the French as a "poster boy for the death penalty."
"I think most French people would not know the details (of the Abu-Jamal murder case)," said said in a phone interview. "Most French people would feel angry about any police force being shot."