Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Crime Scene Photographs Of Pedro Polakoff

"pic of "Hans Bennett, "Journalist For Mumia"

(editors note: to grasp the full importance of this article visit Peheim's website which includes the Polakoff photos.)

The Crime Scene Photographs Of Pedro Polakoff

by Christian Peheim

copyright 2005-2007 all rights reserved
reprinted by permission of the author

-The Claims

Supporters of Abu-Jamal base several claims on the photos and on descriptions given by Pedro Polakoff. In September 2007, Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal listed “7 key points” summarizing the photos’ importance. On 24 December 2007 Hans Bennett wrote an article about 21 FAQs regarding the Polakoff photos. In reality the number of claims is smaller. In various publications I have found 6 claims, which are based on photos and/or Polakoff’s statements.

-A moving hat

Even though I do not know the exact order of photos it seems to be quite clear that the hat was on top of the VW and moved to the ground in later photos. This indicates a manipulation of the crime scene since officer Roy Land testified in court to the location of the police hat. Maybe the hat was on top of the VW before police arrived. Maybe an officer placed it there and put it back on the ground where he found it. We don’t know. On the other hand I don’t want to overestimate the importance of that hat. It was not “crucial evidence.” Even in the case that the jury would have known that photos I doubt that a moving hat would have impressed them.

-Officer Forbes and the Guns

Officer Forbes holds the guns in his left hand (shown on two photos). Michael Schiffmann claims that there are other photos showing officer Forbes holding the guns in his right hand. Maybe he did, maybe not. These other photos are not available and all we have is Schiffmann’s word. Since I saw his manipulations and distortions within his book, published in German, "Race Against Death" I am not willing to take his word. To me he is not reliable. Additionally, any claim regarding the weapons is much more important than the hat. Therefore, I’m sure if such photos would exist they would have been published. The photos available are in accordance with Forbes’ trial testimony. At the trial officer Forbes testified as follows:

"After he [William Cook] took his hands out of his pockets and I looked back to see what my partner was doing, I observed the Charter Arms next to the Defendant. I went over to pick that up, and as I picked that up I saw right off to the left of that was Officer Faulkner's gun, so I picked that up also and I placed them both in my left hand, and then I walked back over and I held on to William Cook with my right hand to his left arm. ... ... because I picked both guns up with my right hand by the wooden grips and placed them in my left hand so as not to ruin any possible fingerprints." Officer Forbes, 19 June 1982, p. 162-163

That’s exactly what can be seen on the photos: James Forbes holding the weapons in his left hand, not touching the metal parts. All other claims by Abu-Jamal’s supporters have been taken out of thin air. If there is a photo showing Forbes touching the metal parts, it should be presented. A simple statement is not sufficient. In "Race Against Death" Schiffmann writes [based on Polakoff's photos] “Could it be he acted that way because it had been police officers who had taken Abu-Jamal’s gun out of its holster?” That statement is based on Forbes’ treatment of the guns. The statement is nonsense. If James Forbes objective had been to destroy any fingerprints he would have cleaned the guns. In reality, there where unidentifiable prints on the guns.

-Securing the crime scene

Polakoff allegedly called the crime scene “the most messed-up scene he ever saw.” Additionally, Hans Bennett mentions Linn Washington’s sworn declaration from May 2001 where Washington says the same. The photos do not support that assertion. Officers in uniform guard the scene, which is protected by wooden barriers. TV news reports show that the barriers and two police cars stayed there for hours. The evidence available casts doubts whether Washington’s declaration was truthful or not (see also the last paragraph of this page). At least the crime scene was secured. There are some persons inside of the barriers but without knowing who they are it is not possible to say whether they had legitimate reason to be there. Polakoff’s photos indicate that the Mobile Crime Detection unit arrived after Polakaff, but that's no reason to call the crime scene "messed-up."

-Robert Chobert’s Car

One photo shows the empty space behind Faulkner’s police car. That is the same spot where Chobert’s taxicab has been. Contrary to the claim by Hans Bennett this does not prove that Chobert was not there. The photos show a lot of police cars. The only area that obviously was empty is the area behind Faulkner’s car. Additionally, the same photo shows wooden barriers in the middle of the street. At this location the barriers do not make any sense. The entire situation makes sense only if a car left that space before. That is clearly in accordance with Chobert’s testimony. In his first written statement he said "Then I got back in my cab and I was getting ready to leave, but they had me blocked in." That’s exactly the situation which can be seen in Polakoff’s photo. A car has left that area and that car most likely was Robert Chobert’s taxicab.

-Missing divots

The theory of the missing divots is already a few years old and not even Bennett, Schiffmann and others use Polakoff’s photos to support this claim. Hans Bennett gave a slide show about Polakoff’s photos (available at Google Videos) where he made such a claim. However, he used the police photo as supporting evidence. Polakoff’s photos show that area from a rather big distance and cannot be used to find out whether there is a divot or not. Bennett simply assumes that there have to be large divots and chunks of cement. Schiffmann says the same and writes about a conversation with an expert. However, there is no clear expert statement about the size of this alleged divot. Additionally, the number of divots is not clear. Scanlan said he saw two shots after Daniel Faulkner fell to the ground (he saw the gunfire). Harkins first declaration indicates the same. Since the gun shot traces close to the entrance door of Locust 1234 clearly show 2 or 3 shots at that location, there have been only 2 or 3 bullets left in Abu-Jamal’s gun.

One shot entered Faulkner’s head. As a result, only one or maybe two shots missed the officer. The sidewalk consists of old concrete and such concrete surfaces have a considerable strength. Depending on the angle of impact and other circumstances a divot could be to small to be detectable at the given resolution. There is no evidence to dismiss that possibility. Even if there is a divot it could be hidden under the bloodstain. Therefore, the police photo cannot be used to call the prosecution witnesses liars. (For a more detailed discussion see the comment located at the last third of this page.) In reality, the missing-divots-issue is already old and the defense was never able to prove its assertions. The Polakoff photos are only used to make the same claims again but they do not offer anything new to support that claim.

-Earliest theory about the crime

According to Hans Bennett, Polakoff said, “all the officers present expressed the firm conviction that Abu-Jamal had been the passenger in Billy Cook’s VW and had fired and killed Faulkner by a single shot fired from the passenger seat of the car.” That’s a very interesting statement which should support the theory that Kenneth Freeman was the real murderer. Actually, it is based on hearsay only, but it still has an impact on the alleged conspiracy by the police. It shows that the officers at the crime scene did not know what happened. Therefore, they were not able to tell the witnesses White, Scanlan, Magilton, and Chobert what they should say. However, within less than an hour these eyewitnesses gave their first statements to the police and three of them talked about a man running from the parking lot (they never said he emerged from his car). They also talked about more than one shot and no one said that a shot has been fired from the passenger seat of the VW (that's not even possible). If the police officers at the scene were not aware about these facts, they were not able to influence the statements by eyewitnesses. As a result, a conspiracy that necessarily had to start within minutes after the shooting, can be ruled out. Since this alleged earliest theory is based on hearsay only, it cannot be used as evidence in court but it is a prime example of the arguments made up by Bennett and others. They use hearsay to support their claims but have nothing to offer. They cannot even come up with consistent arguments.

The best characterization of their shaky evidence comes from Robert Bryan. He talked about his “field day in court” but did not do anything to use those photos in court. Immediately after discovering the photos he should have went to court in order to keep up with the time frame for newly discovered evidence. He did not do so because he knows very well that there is nothing behind these photos. (editors note: when I interviewed Polakoff, he told me that he had contacted Robert Bryan, but that the Jamal attorney had not even returned his calls.)


The photos support the following statements:

Daniel Faulkner’s hat has been moved before the Mobile Crime Detection Unit arrived at the scene.

Officer James Forbes testified truthfully about the guns.

Robert Chobert’s testimony about the location of his taxicab is supported by at least one photo.

Police has guarded the crime scene even before the Mobile Crime Detection Unit arrived.

The limited knowledge of police at the scene rules out any conspiracy.

The Polakoff photos are just the latest so-called exculpatory evidence that does not exonerate Abu-Jamal at all.

Years ago we heard about Singletary listening to a dead man, Harmon making up an incredible story, and a caliber .44 bullet that did not exist. Later, Jenkins saw a ghost and Arnold Beverly claimed to be the shooter. Finally, the (conveniently) deceased Kenneth Freeman resurfaced as murderer. Every now and than some new items of evidence appear. In reality nothing ever changed.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Anti-Intellectualism And Mumia

("Educators For Mumia", Mark Taylor is third from the left)

"Why is she there at all?"
founder of Educators for Mumia,
Mark Taylor referring to Maureen Faulkner’s interview on 20/20 about Mumia's case

Being that I joined the cause of publicizing "Murdered By Mumia" and helped to participate in it’s production, it would be wholly wrong to "review" the book in any conventional sort of way.

However, what I do not fear to do is to take on the reviews of others, especially when such reviews are of such an unjustifiably arrogant tone married to a political agenda.

This is why I feel compelled to offer a response to Mark Taylor, the founder of "Educators For Mumia", as his "review" of the book is essentially a version of MOVE’s conspiracy theories and verifiable war against Maureen Faulkner. Taylor offers an ostensibly academic take on the book. In actuality it is as crude and disingenuous as the more obviously cruel and factually deficient platitudes as offered by MOVE. That he is an established intellectual makes it that much more deserving of a response.
Mark Taylor has a strike against him as he leaves the gate as he references Amnesty International’s call for a new trial as evidence that the human rights community is a source of growing support for Mumia. Never mind that the Amnesty International report has been exhaustively debunked and is indeed several years old. An excellent rebuttal to the Amnesty International report is at and to this day I believe Jamal supporters nor AI have an answer for it.

If this is the best evidence of a broadening of support for Jamal, than Taylor’s premise rests on an a shaky foundation.

The next clue that Taylor is in over his head is that his primary argument against it lay in it’s "rhetorical strategy of persuasion", which is a very dramatic way of saying that he finds the book manipulative and deceptive and that it’s readers are there to be persuaded.

It is an argument rooted in semantics and the presumption that people are there to be readily duped, something that as a long-time member of the Mumia cause, he knows that such people do exist. After all, they fill the ranks of the movement that he is a part of. But it is a presumption that is too arrogant to be reasonably considered.

Another strike against Taylor is that he argues that there are "omissions" from the book with regards to the case, a typical "straw man" argument being that the book was not written to debunk and debate every single Mumia conspiracy theory ever contrived, but instead takes on the larger ideas of how the case has been politicized and how such conspiracies are rooted not in a quest for justice, but rather to serve a specific political agenda. The book, at least as I know it was written not to debunk every pro-Jamal conspiracy theory that has come down the pike, but rather to point out the nefarious origins from which they spring forth.

From his chastisement for "omissions" he goes onto accuse the authors of inaccuracies. A charge that coming from a supporter of Mumia brings hubris up to a new and disturbing level.
And I must say, before I go further down this road that the book does contain "inaccuracies", as any book of recollections and is at least partially a story of thousands of pages of court documents will have. But to me, and I think to readers is the issue of intent and whether or not these inaccuracies constitute the core of the book. His evidence of a pattern of errors consists of one persons name being incorrect.

This, while Taylor is a part of a movement that is largely predicated on and exists almost solely on the proliferation and manufacturing of "inaccuracies" and deception, which is after all, part of the reason Faulkner’s book needed to be written in the first place.

And than, instead of pushing forward his contention that the book is riddled with "inaccuracies", he retreats from the issue back to safer ground, namely pandering to the political proclivities of those who are likely to be reading his work.

Taylor audaciously heaps scorn upon Maureen Faulkner’s dedication to the law enforcement community and they to her. In doing so, he is following his theme of writing a political polemic as opposed to an honest book review. He further distances readers from the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner by concentrating upon politics and what I am sure he assumes his readers will have, and that is visceral and negative reaction to Faulkner’s deep involvement with the law enforcement community.

He fails to mention how this relationship was in actuality born somewhat of a necessity. It was Jamal supporters who had mobilized and harassed and tortured Maureen Faulkner in 1982 during the trial and it is Jamal supporters today who would, if they had their way offer her the same treatment. But what they cannot do in person, they do in print as she is repeatedly demonized as an opportunist, a liar, a racist, and from MOVE an allegation that she had a covert sexual desire for Mumia.

She was one person standing up against an army of angry, mis-informed, and in MOVE’s case, a known violent entity. That people would rise up to protect and assist her neither supports or detracts from the facts of the case as Taylor would have you think. It is yet another "straw man" argument and another logical fallacy from a man who ought to know better.

Taylor resurrects the fact that the Police, the DA’s Office and the cities Judiciary have been subjected to a tremendous amount of scrutiny and condemnation, something that anyone who knows anything about Philadelphia already knows. But he does this in the context of a criticism of the book’s authors for not pointing this out. On a deeper level, if you follow his logic to it’s conclusion the same arguments that Taylor is making on behalf of Jamal, could be equally applied to anyone of African-American descent who is currently imprisoned in Pennsylvania.
Here again we have Taylor committing a logical fallacy while also wanting to have things both ways. He wants to make use of the criticisms of the courts by Philadelphia newspapers and other official proceeding for his own purposes while ignoring the fact that these are the very same entities that have concluded Jamal is guilty and that he deserves to stay in prison. Taylor, seems to be either un-capable or un-willing to engage in critical thinking with regards to his hero and will not accept the reality that the justice system is imperfect and that Jamal is guilty. His inability to identify nuance and penchant of viewing the world in terms of black and white explain how he can still muster support for such an obviously guilty man.

Not surprisingly, Taylor wants readers minds outside of the courtroom in which Jamal was found guilty as he again plays games of semantics that bring to mind satirist, Stephen Colbert’s use of the word "truthiness".

One sentence of Taylor’s review is worthy of reprinting here where he actually expects people to believe that "Abu-Jamal supporters have been just as committed to reading the transcripts as Faulkner and Smerconish claim to be. But this book’s definition of truth as simply what is in the court transcripts is too narrow."

The above claim is just that, a claim. One that is simply not supported by "the truth", neither his nor anyone elses. If Jamal supporters are interested in the trial transcripts than why are they not posted on any of the dozens of pro-Mumia sites? Furthermore, why are there no links to the transcripts on any of the pro-Jamal sites. Even the one run by Taylor himself has only select transcripts. The answer is obvious as is the propaganda as offered by Mark Taylor. The transcripts do not serve Jamal’s interest. What serves Jamal’s interests are one-sided stories, manufactured "evidence" that is interpreted through the eyes of Jamal supporters and the testimony of whacked out witnesses who have been discarded by the courts and even by Jamal’s own defense team.

Perhaps the most disingenuous aspect of Taylor’s article is his defense of those who defend Mumia. While he offers the caveat that Jamal supporters have dished out "distortions and exaggerations", he quickly disengages the reality switch in his mind and assures readers that the "caricatures" of pro-Mumia supporters are but silly stereotypes. This complete detachment from reality on the part of Taylor makes me wonder if he even read the book, as it is filled with example after example of the cruelty directed towards her and others by Jamal supporters.

As a former Mumia supporter, I wish I could agree. But I saw first hand just how vicious and ugly this movement is. Whether it is embracing bigots and anti-Semites, like the members of the Nation Of Islam or the New Black Panther Party, or just the profane viciousness that is the norm for the MOVE Organization, the Mumia movement is what it is and Taylor’s dismissal of the true nature of this (thankfully decreasing) faux movement is absurd. It is a movement that heaps abuse not only on those who stand steadfast in their support of Maureen Faulkner, but even leftists who stray from the path and take heretical views on Jamal’s case.

There are too many examples for Taylor to ignore and his doing so convinces me that he cares not at all for the truth.

In an article from 1999 Taylor himself illustrated his own lack of intellectual curiosity that pervades the Mumia movement when he admitted that "he hadn’t ever asked Weinglass whether Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner, but went on to ask whether the question is relevant. "When you say something as specific as ‘I did not shoot Officer Faulkner,’ you are accepting the terms of the charge," Taylor told the reporter. So, while Taylor lives in a world of benevolent Jamal supporters, prone only to exaggeration he himself cannot even bring himself to ask what should obviously be one of the most pertinent questions in this entire case, all the while seeming to not understand the frustration and pain that he and his band of Jamal supporters are the cause of.
After whining about the treatment of Jamal’s supporters, Taylor’s next step is to lament the "demonization" of Mumia himself by the book’s authors. This is something that I find quite remarkable considering that one of the authors is the widow of the man whom Mumia murdered, in cold blood. In another example of sheer audacity he accuses the authors of
"Murdered By Mumia" of hyperbole. And while I fully accept the idea that for Taylor, Jamal is a hero, he fails to understand that the gravity of Jamal’s crime, how that crime reverberated through a community and left two families devastated. If anyone should get a pass for calling Mumia an "evil man", it is Maureen Faulkner. After all, it is not like Jamal has ever acknowledged his role in the crime, unless you count his boasting at the hospital. Nor has he, to my knowledge even mentioned the loss of Faulkner’s life in any of his hundreds of articles or audio commentaries.

The reality is that Maureen Faulkner does not need to demonize Mumia. He did that to himself when he shot and wounded another man and than finished him off as he lay wounded with a shot to the head. He furthered this crime by remaining mute about his role in the crime and than sat complicit as his supporters defamed, threatened, and otherwise attacked those who challenged the idea of his innocence.
After his Mumia pity party, Taylor again takes up the task of chastising the authors for not presenting both sides of the death penalty debate. Maureen Faulkner makes clear her reasons for supporting the verdict and sentence as handed down by Jamal’s jury. As a death-penalty opponent, I am not so insecure in my position that I need it to be constantly debated in order for it to be validated. I further find it sadly ironic that Taylor mentions Jamal’s own anti-death penalty writings. This because I am not really sure at which point Jamal decided that he was going to be against capital punishment. Was it before or after he pulled the trigger on another human being? My guess is that his conversion with regards to the implementation of the death penalty changed sometime around the day of his sentencing hearing.
The reality is that Mumia is not going to be executed. While it exists on paper and helps to get District Attorneys elected, the death penalty is essentially a non-issue in the state of Pennsylvania. Of the three people executed in PA since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the 1970 all of them had given up on their appeals. The continued use of fear of the death penalty for Mumia is shallow propaganda that always seems to creep into any discussion about the issue, never mind the fact that it is barely even relevant at this point.
Another "failure" of the book according to Taylor is it’s lack of discussion of racial issues. Again, another "straw man" argument is constructed just for the purpose of Taylor knocking it down.

With regards to the case itself, some of the most important prosecution witnesses were African-Americans, as were two of the jurors who convicted Jamal and gave him the sentence of death. And while it is true that on both sides of the public debate their exists racial opportunists. The difference being that Maureen Faulkner will have none of it, while the Mumia movement courts hate groups and gives them a forum from which to spew their anti-white and anti-Semitic rants at pro-Jamal events.

While Maureen will return checks back to racist groups who attempt to donate to her charity, the Mumia devotees will take money from any group, no matter how vicious and hateful
The end of Mark Taylors review of "Murdered By Mumia"notes the "ups and downs" that all murder victims go through, but he also feels compelled to add that few victims of murder have the "official support" that Marueen Faulkner has, which is true. But he fails again to mention the reason for this support. He fails to mention the "Free Mumia" support network that spans the globe and haunts Maureen’s life. Most murderers are not best selling authors, radio commentators, they don’t have their pictures emblazoned on merchandise, and literally dozens of websites built in their name. He almost seems to want to lead readers into thinking that Maureen Faulkner's "ups" are more pronounced than her "downs". As if a visit to the Mayor's office somehow mitigates the pain of the loss of her husband and the deification of the man who killed him. It is a stunning display of solopism and speaks to the arrogance and lack of empathy, sympathy, or even the pretense of compassion on the part of even the most sophisticated and educated of Mumia supporters.
That is what Maureen Faulkner must deal with and that is why people from all walks of life feel compelled to aid her . She is what Jamal wishes he was. By speaking out on behalf of her murdered husband, she is a true "voice of the voiceless". While Mumia writes commentaries about his heroes Hugo Chavez and other despots who are steadily stealing the voice of their people. He is the voice of tyrants and the most celebrated supporter of the child raping MOVE cult.
Finally, after all of his thinly veiled attacks on Maureen Faulkner, an obvious complete lack of empathy, the employment of logical fallacies as a means of diversions from the vital issues, an apparently self-deluded "Educator For Mumia" wants to argue that the book in question fails to offer a "convincing discourse" about the case, something it never even aspired to. Furthermore, this kind of criticism from a man so disinterested in the true facts of the case, a man who couldn’t be bothered to ask whether or nor Jamal shot Officer Faulkner, rings hollow with mock indignation.
But don’t take my word or Mark Taylor’s. Read the book yourself and discover the truth and find out why it is now on the New York Times Best Seller’s list and has met with critical success and see why Jamal supporters don’t want you to read it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Murdered By Mumia/Murdered By MOVE

(Pam Africa, advocate of Mumia as well as child-rape)

The release of the now critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller, "Murdered By Mumia" is not merely a blow against Mumia and the cause that bears his name and seeks to free him, but also the cult to which he belongs.

When, at the end of one of his articles or speeches, Mumia sounds off with a firm "Long Live John Africa", he is paying homage to MOVE’s founder, and reminding the world that while many on the left like to claim Jamal as one of their own, that he is not.

As a devotee of MOVE’s founder, he, by definition, holds fast to a set of beliefs that run quite counter to his "progressive" writings and the persona that he and his enablers market. While he mouths the words of women’s rights, choice, gay rights, and solidarity, he is an adherent of an ideology that runs counter to each of those core values of modern radicalism.

Were he to put aside his pragmatism and well honed persona and honestly stand for the things that MOVE stands for, many of those who idolize him would be appalled.

So, for the benefit of some of you new readers, allow me a moment to briefly encapsulate just a few of John Africa, and therefore MOVE’s beliefs, that are explicitly reactionary. Quite contrary to many on the left’s adherence to a materialistic history and a well-founded skepticism, MOVE members and close supporters must come to see John Africa as God incarnate. Members of the group, especially older members have a pretty low regard for homosexuals. This, as a direct result of the adoption of an absurd variation of John Africas theory of "natural law". Through MOVE’s interpretation of laws pre-ordained by the creator, "perversions" as they are called in MOVE, such as homosexuality is not tolerated in the group and privately at least, members of the sect routinely drop the word "faggot" and colorful variations of the word "dyke". Upon hearing this for the first time coming from the mouths of the same people who march side by side with groups like "Queers For Mumia", I was quite surprised.

No MOVE member was particularly comfortable in addressing this contradiction and I did not push hard for an explanation. But the main thing that I would come to understand is that MOVE will accept money and support from people that they consider to be "perverts", which is MOVE-speak for a non-MOVE member of especially low moral fibre. The money from the "queers" is just as green as anyone elses it seems.

As far as a women’s right to choose goes, MOVE’s example on this issue speaks volumes. The girls in the cult who reach puberty have one job to do and that is to make babies. They have no choice in the matter, they have no real knowledge of even what a choice could be, it is really the same kind of psychology of "child soldiers". Because these lost children of MOVE are taught absurdities, they do not protest their own victimization and go further still to take the time to state their belief in the necessity of these atrocities with regards to themselves and the other children of the cult.

Illiterate girls, barely in puberty being forced to have baby after baby without the benefit of pre-natal or neo-natal care, the whole birthing process occurring almost in private on a bed of straws. If they can handle it, they are expected to lick the afterbirth off the baby and bite thru the umbilical cord, sans even a midwife.

All you need is an overseer with a whip and a field of cotton and it may as well be a scene from a pre-Civil War plantation.

So, while Faulkner’s book is not a full catalog or even a concise history of MOVE’ three decade run of barbarism, it does help to strip away the facade of MOVE as a martyrs club and provides examples of MOVE’s naked cruelty. Moreover, it begins to explain how an intelligent, articulate, and ostensibly well-meaning person can be ensnared in a violent sect that preaches a doctrine of peaceful revolution, based upon the premise of protecting life, while exhibiting an almost Manson-like brand of cultism.

Mumia, whose devotion to MOVE, and especially the murderers of Police Officer James Ramp in 1978 had cost him a promising career. His abandonment of his true family for that of his new family of co-religionists only further exacerbated his alienation from a world of journalism and his true family.

In that context, it makes sense to me that Jamal would execute a Philadelphia Police Officer.
According to Mumia, he had been literally "kicked" by the police into the Black Panther Party in the 60's and there wrote that he had grown to "feel" like "putting down the pen", and to "start writing epitaphs for pigs".

As the Panthers disintegrated through the COINTELPRO operations coupled with the weight of it’s contradictions, and the fact that many African-Americans would no longer accept the Panther’s as they evolved from a political/social force to a band of thugs shaking down business and emerging as a truly compromised and irrelevant force. This while their "leader", and Jamal idol, Huey Newton, lived in a grand penthouse using Scarface amounts of drugs and becoming increasingly irrational and ego maniacal. The one-time architect of the black revolution whose legacy would be capped by the murder of a prostitute and his own violent death over drugs.

As the Panthers became less relevant, Jamal got serious about his education and career and climbed the journalistic ladder, became a father, and was on the path towards success, with one eye always on the underdog, especially when it involved the Police and allegations of brutality.
So, by the time MOVE entered the public eye, Jamal, a former Panther with a long-held animosity for police officers gravitated towards the sect. And it was his bias and journalistic advocacy on behalf of his new found friends that would turn that boiling and simmering anger into a killing rage that was ultimately unleashed on Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

It was Jamal’s inability or unwillingness to recognize that MOVE was the catalyst for the violence, or even admit there was another side to the debate that kept him from doing his job properly. One former co-worker is quoted as saying that Mumia appeared to be "high" and that Jamal acted "out of control all of the time." The more time Jamal spent with MOVE, the more distant from reality he became.

In just a period of a couple of years Jamal would hear the tale of a seven week old baby of a MOVE member being trampled by cops, numerous other tales of abuse, some ending in miscarriages, and than the 1978 inevitable confrontation between MOVE and the Police. A cop named James Ramp died that day, but if you read Jamal’s numerous writings on the subject you might get the impression that the only event that occurred that day was Delbert Africa being beaten viciously by three cops. That beating by police became the symbol of the 1978 gun-battle, as the death of Officer James Ramp being pushed out of the public eye. Jamal was outraged when the charges against the Police who beat Delbert were thrown out. So too, was he similarly angered by the result of the trial of the "MOVE 9" that led to them being sentenced to 30 to 100 year sentences for murder and attempted murder. It is interesting to note that the sentencing hearings for the "MOVE 9" did not end until 1981, the same year Jamal shot Officer Faulkner.

Now, picture Jamal in a cab, his college degree gathering dust somewhere, knowing he had burned all of his journalistic bridges in Philadelphia. His family life was falling apart and there he was in a taxi cab, shuttling drunks, dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and drunks of all stages of deterioration. There he was a few hours before the sun would rise, filling out paperwork when he sees his brother in some kind of struggle with a white police officer.

For Mumia, at that time, given who his heroes were (Huey Newton had beat a cop-killing rap) and the "MOVE 9", who were proven cop-killers, for him to not have jumped into the fracas would be somewhat unbelievable.

He exited his cab with the gun that he bought a few years earlier, packed with bullets that not even the police were allowed to carry because of their destructive nature. The rest you could say is history, but we all know that there is much more to come

It is important here to point out that while Jamal had a licensed weapon, he was not licensed to carry it hidden on his person. Were his intentions pure as the driven snow, would he not have left the illegal weapon behind in his cab? I have a gun and I also have a permit to carry this weapon hidden, but I would not ever come upon a police officer at nearly 4am, in the "red light district" of Philadelphia as he was in a struggle with a man he was attempting to arrest.
Clearly, Jamal had more in mind than peaceably intervening in an altercation. As witnesses saw him striding across the street gun in hand, the writing on the wall for this tragedy is clear. On that night, Jamal would follow in the footsteps of his heroes and commit murder.

And as his trial got underway, his dedication to MOVE became more apparent. Much like the "MOVE 9" defendants, Jamal was disruptive, abusive, and relentless in his demand that John Africa be his lawyer. He spent much of the first day of court acting like a fool to the point that one reporter wondered openly whether Jamal was committing suicide via the judicial system.
His emulating of MOVE’s courtroom behavior would be the norm after tantrum after tantrum would eventually end with him being led out of the courtroom. And while Mumia idolized MOVE, they idolized him and took out their anger on Maureen Faulkner with fierce cruelty.
According to Maureen:

"I was walking down the hall when one of the MOVE people spit on my leg" as if that was not enough, the MOVE member or supporter told Faulkner that is "what’s you deserve you little bitch".

Throughout Jamal’s entire trial, Maureen Faulkner was repeatedly accosted and mocked by MOVE members at every available opportunity. She was by no means the first person to feel what the cult likes to refer to as "MOVE heat". It was a tactic of intimidation that they used against their neighbors in Powelton Village as they would surround their intended victim and scream taunts of the most profane insults and threats imaginable.

Today, "MOVE heat" has gone online and to be a part of MOVE is to join in the frenzy of hatred directed towards Maureen Faulkner as the cult has manufactured some extremely vulgar stories about her that are now being brought to light outside of the confines of the cult.

It was important to me that Maureen understand the depths of depravity that MOVE has sunk to in order demonize her. In order to convince somebody to be utterly cruel to victims of a violent crime, it is necessary that a steady diet of hatred be fed to MOVE’s adherents in order for them to so readily and quite clearly attempt to emotionally destroy another human being.

In Maureen’s case, MOVE wanted it clear to us that she was not even a real victim. That she was a victim of terrible physical abuse at the hands of her dead husband, and that when the news of his death reached her ears that she celebrated. We were further told that her endeavors were being funded by the Fraternal Order of Police who were paying her off. And while much of this extreme form of demonization took place amongst MOVE members and supporters, it did spill out into the public. One notable example being at an event for Mumia at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was there that Pam Africa took her verbal assault even a little too far for the assembled crowd when she stated the following :

She asked for a show of hands: Who here knows Mumia? Every hand went up. And then:
"Who the hell is Danny Faulkner?… We’ve known who Mumia Abu-Jamal is from the time he exited his mother’s womb. Now who the hell is Danny Faulkner? Why is the government so hell-bent on breaking the law that they won’t tell us who Danny Faulkner is? I don’t know, but I got some hearsay. . . . I heard from reliable sources that this man was a pimp to some black women, teenagers in schools. . . . I don’t know, it’s hearsay. But if you are calling this monster a hero, like we’re calling Mumia a hero, then dammit, prove it! . . . We are demanding to know who’s Danny Faulkner"

I would later hear Pam claim that Faulkner was in some kind of sexual relationship with Veronica Jones. That Maureen had re-married and was cashing in on her name and story and all the while knew that Mumia was innocent. The reason she kept silent, according to Pam is that Maureen had been threatened and coerced by the government to do their bidding.

These are the kind of things that MOVE represents, these unsubstantiated and contrived rumors, meant almost explicitly to inflict pain on MOVE’s enemies. Thankfully, people are increasingly taking a stand against such things and are fighting back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Murdered by Mumia" just made the New York Times extended best seller list, and will be in the 20th position in the list dated December 30, 2007.

Thank you so much for your support of this book. Last Friday, upon her departure from Philadelphia, at the end of our intensive book signing schedule, Maureen Faulkner was elated about the success of the book, and told me she was going home to celebrate her most enjoyable Christmas in the 26 years since Danny died. This news will guarantee her holiday happiness.

The book remains for sale everywhere, and all author proceeds will continue to benefit Maureen's not-for-profit which supports the education of the children of murder victims in Philadelphia.

(Editors Note:

The first 40,000 copies of this book were sold on the first day alone. At just about every book signing every book in the store was sold and on a few occasions people had to leave empty handed as their simply wasn't enough for everyone.

On a personal note, I again want to thank Michael and Maureen for thinking to include my contribution and especially all of you who have seen past the Jamal propaganda machine and now want to read the real story.

One lingering bit of sadness is with me as I write this as I realize that Maureen Faulkner should have never had to write this book. However, the brutal attempts to demonize her and re-write history on the part of Jamal's supporters made this endeavor a kind of necessity.

It took immense courage for her to write this book, re-live those memories, and have endured the worst that the Jamal supporters have thrown at her, and still be so kind and so full of energy. She didn't ask to be the widow of a slain police officer, or to be attacked so viciously, or to become a kind of symbol for justice. But that is what she is and the example she sets in terms of courage, persistence, and with regards to this former MOVE/Mumia supporter, an amazing amount of forgivenesss. On so many levels she raises the bar for all of the rest of us.

Thank you Maureen and Michael for this book. What we need now is a version in French!
-Tony Allen

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Is "Robbins Enterprises"?

("Mo Africa helping to board up "MOVE HQ during the "confrontation with John Gilbride in 2002)

I have no quarrel with those people released from prison making their way back into society and managing to succeed at making an honest living.

What I do have a problem with is someone whose business directly enables the rape of children, the proliferation of cult propaganda, and the fermenting of hatred towards society, while seeking out new converts.

That is why this is an article that must be written.

If you live in and around Philadelphia and you have had general contractors from "Robbins Enterprises" work on your home, you have unwittingly shoved money into the coffers of the MOVE Organization and all that they represent. The business, built around renovations and other such projects is owned and operated by long-time, MOVE member, "Mo Africa", whose real name is Alphonso Robbins.

Although he is not nearly as well known as say, Pam or Ramona Africa, he does hold a key role in the group and he, like so many MOVE members is a convicted, violent, felon. In MOVE, Robbins is considered to be a "spiritual cornerstone" of the group and has a reputation as one who is completely devoted to MOVE. And while many MOVE members around him have embraced the world of technology around them, Robbins stays more true to MOVE’s rustic beginnings and attempts to keep things simple.

He is tall, with greying dread locks, extremely soft-spoken, and un-failingly polite. But this calm exterior masks a seething hatred of "the system" and the people in it.

"Mo Africa" as he is most often referred to, is one of John Africa’s first "disciples", and has been one of MOVE’s "enforcers" throughout the years. His history, like that of MOVE, is one of violence.

In 1977, a federal arrest warrant for "Mo Africa" and John Africa was taken out for the pair after a cache of weapons, bomb making material, and military manuals explaining how to make bombs was found in a car owned by Mo. However, he and his mentor were one step ahead of authorities and were already on the way out of town, according to Mo, via bicycle.

They would end up in Rochester New York and were later joined by a host of other MOVE members, including John Africa’s than wife, and current leader of the cult, Alberta Africa. It was there they would stay until 1981 when the feds were finally able to track them down.

Reportedly, the ever courageous John Africa, upon seeing agents coming to arrest him picked up the children he was with and held them in front of him. It was not the first time and certainly wouldn’t be the last that MOVE would use children as "human shields".

Although other MOVE members and supporters had been convicted on the same charges, Robbins and John Africa were found innocent. This, in spite of a mountain of evidence, the testimony of former members of the cult, including it’s co-founder Donald Glassey. One witness was conspicuously absent from the case, William Whitney Smith, who like Donald Glassey had turned on MOVE. However, unlike Glassey who entered the witness protection program, Smith continued to work and live his life in Philadelphia and in the open.

Before he could be brought to testify against Mo and John Africa he was found dead in the Schuylkill River. It was ruled a "suspicious death", but in the absence of evidence, no charges could be brought against anyone. The fact remains that there were only a few people to gain from his demise and they just happened to be MOVE’s leader and his protege, Mo. The next question you should be asking is whether or not I believe that Mo or John Africa were capapble of murder. Clearly, the answer is yes. It was true than and I believe it true now.

In a similar scenario to that of the murder of John Gilbride, MOVE spun wild tales about William Smith, claiming the feds had killed him because he wanted to return to MOVE. It is the same thing the cult said about John Gilbride after his still "unsolved murder". To me, the coincidences are uncanny and too obvious to be ignored.

It is hard to say how much the prosecution was hurt by the loss of what would have been a key, corroborating witness to Mo and John Africa’s crimes, but the case did end in an acquittal.

For MOVE, this case would be forever remembered as the one in which John Africa slept through much of the trial and still beat the charges, a symbol of his divinity, of his unquestionable power.

Former MOVE members would recall this event as yet another turning point in the life of John Africa. He had become more obsessed with himself, more paranoid, and yet more emboldened.

One could argue that the ashes of Osage Avenue could be traced back to the fuse lit by a jury who ignored the obvious and acquitted a mad-man and his apprentice.

After Mo's acquittal, split his time between MOVE’s new headquarters on Osage Avenue and the MOVE house in Chester PA, just outside of Philadelphia. It was there where his wife was raising a half-dozen children under the oppressive doctrine of John Africa. These children are the illiterate, baby-making machines, that sustains the membership of the cult. They are children who were taken in as wards of the state after the 1985 confrontation, but were catastrophically given back to their mother, who like Mo is a long-time MOVE devotee, ensuring a life of enforced abuse and ignorance.

Like his leader, it seems that Mo was also emboldened by the outcome of the trial, and he became a key component of MOVE’s terrorist campaign waged against their neighbors on Osage Avenue.

The man who you may have currently restoring your kitchen is the same man who was once helping to destroy the lives and the homes of his own neighbors.

He was instrumental in building the bunker on top of MOVE’s Osage Avenue house and even told a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer that it was built explicitly for a "confrontation with police".

Whether by design or through Mo’s own violent tendencies he frequently tangled with Osage Avenue’s residents and later with police, one of whom ended up shooting Mo during a violent confrontation in 1984.

The law eventually caught up with Mo and he was sentenced to five years in jail for "terroristic threats".

It was during the closing agreements of this trial Mo, in typical MOVE fashion, made the point that enemies of MOVE had "suffered heart attacks or a bullet in the head." This comment however, was nothing compared to one that he made during a preliminary trial. At which time he boldly told the Judge that

"Beat me, be prepared to die. If I don’t get you...MOVE Underground will kill you."

An interesting comment from a man ostensibly dedicated to the protection of life.

Since being released from jail, Mo Africa has continued to play a pivotal role in MOVE’s activities. In addition to rearing a half-dozen children under the oppressive environment started by John Africa, he now is a grandfather and is passing his toxic brand of cultism to another generation of children as he helped to preside over the forced impregnation of his own little girls when they hit puberty and will likely force the same barbarism upon his female grandchildren.

In addition to his leadership role in MOVE, his business, "Robbins Enterprises" brings in a steady flow of cash into the group and provides employment to a number of the cult’s members and supporters.

Obviously, Alphonso Robbins keeps his identity as a MOVE member a secret from his clients and his website makes the claim that he is a "licensed" contractor. A claim that I could not verify. Another secret that he surely keeps to himself is his long criminal record. One of violence and terroristic threats.

His clients will only see the one side of "Mo Africa", the amiable, hard-working, and successful contractor. They do not know that the money that they are paying him goes to support the actions of Philadelphia’s most loathed and feared cult.

Moreover, and perhaps a point of interest for those who would employ Mo Africa in spite of all that has been written, would be how he and MOVE views those outside of the cult.

For any MOVE member or close supporter, it is not only not frowned upon, but encouraged to run scams on people or steal from businesses. It is a cult that believes that it is ok to "bleed the system" and by "system", they also mean you Mr. Birkenstocks with a Prius emblazoned with an "Impeach Bush" sticker.

MOVE is a cult that has no moral compass or scruples. They are actively engaged in the abuse of the children and animals in their midst as they perpetuate, or rather are attempting to perpetuate a fraud on the "radical community". They deserve not support, but contempt and exposure for the top to bottom criminal entity that they are.

Let your neighbors and your community know what kind of outfit "Robbins Enterprises" is.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Back To Philadelphia

(Maureen Faulkner, my new hero)

I crossed over the bridge into Philadelphia seeing the somewhat familiar skyline for the first time since I left in 2004.

There is no need to pretend that I wasn’t nervous as the creeping fear of the unknown filled me with the apprehension that comes with the knowledge that I was coming back to a city that I knew was inhabited by people who have killed before. People, whom I have no doubt might want to just go ahead and take a shot at me.

However, as I drove into the familiar territory of South Philadelphia, where I worked for some time, I got less nervous and more excited.

Pretty soon, I saw the blazing neon lights of both Pats and Genos Steaks. The latter of which was my destination. I was there because that was where Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish were signing copies of their new book "Murdered By Mumia" and I was to meet up with friends who, for obvious reasons, must remain un-named.

Not seeing my comrades and being driven at this point more so by my rumbling stomach than either fear or excitement I jumped in line for one of Genos world famous cheese-steaks. There were two lines stretching around the building, threatening at times to burst into the street. One for steaks and the other for books.

On all sides of me people were clutching Faulkner’s book, laughing, talking excitedly as I listened and watched patiently for my friends to arrive. Behind me an older man was quite articulately explaining the Faulkner murder to two women that he was with as he held his signed copy of "Murdered By Mumia" in a way that all could see it.

There were cops in uniform all around, but there was no tension in the cold air this night. It seems like the Mumia crowd decided to sit out this particular book event and so what could have been an ugly situation, was instead more of a street festival than anything else. The line I was in for cheese-steaks was long, but the line of people standing in the cold to have their books signed was much longer.

I could barely make out Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish in a tent-like contraption just a dozen or so feet from the large plaque of Officer Faulkner’s image that has graced the front of Joey Vento’s establishment for the past several years. Eventually I got my steak "wit wiz", and for the first time in probably half a decade I had a proper cheese-steak. By the end of the evening I would have had another courtesy of Joey Vento and half of another courtesy of a friend determined to ensure that I had my fill.

I soon found my friends who had been there all along, but whom I missed in the large crowd of people, and we ended up making our way out of the cold for an hour, maybe two, as the time kind of flowed along with the conversation. When we got back over to Genos we were surprised to see people still in line for their books to be signed, at night, and in the cold no less.

That is what you call dedication.

I had already received my copy of the book as it arrived in the mail the day of it’s release and had been pleased to see that all of the information I provided Maureen made it into the final edit, as was this website’s address and the mention of the murder of John Gilbride.

A few days prior to coming to Philadelphia I taped a segment via satellite for Fox News to talk about the new book. And now I was here, in Philly, the home of amongst many other things, The MOVE Organization.

Though it was my intent to at some point speak with Maureen Faulkner in person as there was something I needed to say to her, I didn’t want to bother her after she had just spent hours signing books and shaking hands. However, my host for the night was insistent that I meet her than and there.

So off we went, into the back room of Genos where Maureen was taking shelter from the cold and preparing to leave. I was introduced and much to my surprise she jumped up to give me a big hug. Not exactly the response I expected from someone whom I spent many an hour trashing online, offline, around the country with MOVE on speaking engagements etc...I mean I knew she was aware of my post-MOVE efforts, but from my point of view she was far too kind and generous to me. Just as soon as I meekly apologized, she remarked "for what?" and I quickly came to understand why so many people hold this woman in such high regard.

She is not only brave in the face of adversity, but she is gracious and understanding as well. Her companion Paul, whom I also met that night for the first time was equally gracious. I had previously learned that he was the brains behind the Daniel Faulkner website and the man who had long stood unknown behind Maureen. To be sure, there are many people out there who without his online work would be that much more ignorant about this case and would have fallen for the Jamal propaganda campaign.

To the point, I couldn’t do a lot of what I do were it not for the ground already broken by Paul and Maureen. I cannot say enough about her and am fortunate to have met Paul and enjoyed greatly, our conversations. They are good people, not at all the demons that Maureen especially has been made out to be by my former comrades of MOVE.

The next day, I was live on the Michael Smerconish show and did a segment with Maureen. I gave the very brief explanation of my involvement with MOVE and was able to speak briefly about John Gilbride’s murder. Michael was intense and professional and it is easy to see why he is a success at what he does. His devotion to getting the truth out about this case has helped pave the way for me and many others who can cut through the pro-Jamal rhetoric with ease.

Maureen, on the air again took time to not only be kind to me, but expressed her gratitude to me for my work. It was something that she didn’t have to do, but she took her valuable time on the air to do so publicly and her kindness rendered me speechless.

Later on in the day I made my way to the Union League in downtown Philadelphia, which was not too far from where Jamal shot down Officer Faulkner for a luncheon that was to mark the "official" relase of the book.

It was a sold-out event of 500 people that had all of it’s tickets sold only an hour after being announced. I had the chance to cut through the front of the line and get in before the other people who had been patiently standing in line. It was an opprotunity that I was not comfortable in taking. A friend kindly opined that if anyone had a right to get in first it was me, but that is not the way I felt. I am just a person who writes about what I know and what I have seen and that is all. So, I took my place comfortably amongst the other people waiting in line.

The luncheon was hosted by long-time media personality, Larry Kane, who was able to mark the event by emphasizing the need for justice as well as noting the tenacity of those involved in prosecuting the case, and for Maureen Faulkner for seeing it through.

Maureen took the stage, made some brief remarks and read a heart-wrenching passage from her book. It was the story of how she learned of her husband’s death and how here whole world was shattered, of how she as a 25 year old widow, had crawled in between her parents in bed to be comforted. Her reading of her recollection left few dry eyes and was a reminder that death takes much more than just one single life.

Michael Smerconish lightened things up in his usual gregarious way and mentioned the "Today Show" and how he had read that the "new photos" would be brought up by Matt Lauer. He relayed this to Maureen whom he said went ghostly white when she heard it, and not for the reason that proponents of the photos would like to expect. That is because she heard "nude photos" and not "new photos". It was a moment of humor needed at an event of sadness, remembrance, and about a lingering injustice.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the afternoon was the speech of PA Governor Ed Rendell. It was Rendell who was DA during Jamal’s trial as was he during the MOVE trial in 1978. He has long been a target of pro-Jamal supporters as he has gone up the political ladder, much to their dismay. He spoke of going to Europe and seeing pro-Mumia graffiti, being confronted by the former First Lady of France, who supported Mumia, but not surprisingly, knew next to nothing about the case.

It was all classic Rendell, polished, funny, for the people kind of stuff. However, at mid-point in his speech the gravity of the situation seemed to grab hold of him and he did the most unlikely thing for a politician to do. He chocked up and was clearly forcing back tears. People looked around in surprise, un-acquainted with an experienced politico being so obviously racked with emotion. It was obvious that his interest in this matter transcended that of an upwardly mobile public figure, there for the photo-ops. For him, for me, for most of us who were there that day, this is not about slogans or crass politics. It is more about humanity. It is what the Mumia movement claims to be, but cannot ever be, it is authentic.

So, I met briefly with Maureen and Paul again before leaving and I recognized on my way home that I have closed one chapter in my life and am starting another. This is not an issue about a dead police officer and an opportunistic cult member, who killed a cop. It is about justice and surviving the worst of adversity and turning around all of that pain and anger and hurt into something positive.

The charity in Daniel Faulkner's name, which is the beneficiary of the monies earned from Faulkner’s book drives that point home. It is a charity that does not scream for death, but helps to enable people to move on from tragedy and live their lives to the fullest. It helps the children of murder victims to go to school and fulfill the dreams that their parents would have had for them. It is the proverbial silver lining in Officer Faulkner’s sacrifice and the years of pro-Mumia rubbish that has outraged the people of Philadelphia who know the truth and now have a book of record, in addition to court transcripts to tell this story.

It is one that needs to be told as it is a story of heroes and of survival much more so than about crime and punishment.

Buy this book, buy two, and give one away for the Holidays.

In a world of reckless hate often stripped of meaning, it is an example of a life lived with honor and service, a story of love that is and was real, and a reminder that there are still things worth fighting for.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Interviews About Faulkner Book

For those of you who missed out on the series of interviews about Maureen Faulkner's new book, "Murdered By Mumia" which has recieved rave reviews and from what I understand selling very well, are all now available online courtesy of WPHT 1210 AM.

The interviews, include Maureen Faulkner, Jamal's 1982 prosecutor, Joe McGill, one of Faulkner's brothers, current Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, who was the District Attorney at the time of the shooting, Paul Palkovic, who is Maureen's current partner, as well as Hugh Burns, who is currently handling the Jamal case for the District Attorney's Office.

Also, to add another interesting perspective is Kevin Franck, who was a senior at Antioch College when Jamal gave the commencement speech to the graduating class via audio-recording. I was also interviewed and you will hear the reason why I ought to stick to the written word and leave the speaking to the professionals.

These interviews help to paint the true picture of the effect of an injustice that for over a quarter of a century has dragged on. I think I can speak for many people when I thank Micheal Smerconish for bringing us all together and allowing us the time to share our story.

For me, it was a true honor to be sitting across the table from Maureen Faulkner and I encourage everyone to listen to these interviews and than go out and grab a copy of "Murdered By Mumia", the proceeds of which go to the children of murder victims in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Audible Demise Of The Mumia "Movement"

Listen to pro-Jamal author Dave Lindorff fall apart

I have frequently wrote of the disintegration of the "Free Mumia" cause and have cited numerous examples of why I believe this to be true. There is first of all the ever declining numbers of Mumia supporters, the ever-smaller rallies, the fact that International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia does not even have it’s own website, nauseam.

Today, I was witness to another example of it’s decline, this time audibly.

On WHYY Radio, which interestingly enough had employed Jamal, was a "debate" about the fairness of Jamal’s trial between authors Dave Lindorff and John Hayden.

Lindorff is author of the decidedly pro-Jamal tract, "A Killing Time", while Hayden is the author of "Mumia Abu-Jamal: The Patron Saint of American Cop Killers", which as you might have guessed takes the opposing view. Hayden has also written articles specifically for this website.

Having heard Lindorff speak before about the case and having had written responses to a number of his articles, I know that Lindorff is perhaps one of the most capable spin doctors in the Mumia camp. And my thought was that anyone who would take him on in a debate would have a time in doing so, not because the facts are on his side, but because of his talent for taking things out of context, setting up straw man arguments, and penchant for making statements that are unprovable either one way or another.

On the other hand, I had not heard John Hayden before speak about Jamal’s case. I have obviously read his thoroughly researched book and was impressed by his arguments, but having not heard him in action before, was curious to see how he would do against a veteran of the pro-Mumia cause.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised is somewhat of an understatement.

While Lindorff spun off wild conspiracy theories and repeatedly went to the gutter to find his "arguments", Hayden on the other hand not only was able to articulate his points with facts, dates, and with great specificity, but was also able to politely tear apart Lindorff’s wild proclamations.

Not even the aid of Suzanne Ross of the New York Free Mumia Coalition and Pam Africa who called into the show, could Lindorff salvage his presentation as Hayden cooly deconstructed the pro-Mumia mythology.

At one point, a discombobulated Lindorff was sent scrambling through his own book to find the name of a judge he was talking about. And by the end of the debate he was not even making any sense, although I will give him credit for admitting that I was the one to discover the Polakoff photos, something his fellow Jamal supporters are very reluctant to do.

I strongly encourage everyone to listen to this nearly hour long discussion and hear for yourself the decline of a movement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Murderers Of Police Officer James Ramp Could Walk Free

(Picture of James Ramp on the ground after being shot)

Sign the petition to keep the "MOVE 9" In Jail

It is a possibility that the murderers of Police Officer James Ramp walk out of jail come August of this year.

This despite the fact that the eight surviving members of P.O. James Ramp bear responsibility for the veteran Officer’s death and the attempted murder of several other Officers and firefighters during the MOVE "confrontation" in 1978.

It is an incident chronicled in Maureen Faulkner’s new book "Murdered By Mumia", as more evidence that the violent cult that took the life of her husband, also stole the life of another Officer just three years before is a violent and destructive entity. Officer Ramp, was a father, husband, Korean War Veteran, World War Two Veteran who served the people of Philadelphia faithfully for 23 years.

He died while attempting to aid a fellow officer who MOVE members had gunned down just moments earlier. That he is a hero, a member of the "greatest generation", is of no doubt. That those who stole his life deserve neither mercy nor support is also doubtless.

James Ramp was killed by people who have never once acknowledged the crime to which they have committed, never apologized to the family they left devastated, never once told the truth about the situation. And to add insult to injury, they defile his memory by claiming that the bullet that ended his life was one fired from a fellow officer.

And just as absurd as it is to think that these MOVE members will breath the free air, it should go without saying that one of those sent to jail for the killing is already free. This August she was observed screaming around the city "Free The MOVE 9". She is still unrepentant, still a devotee of the cult of death that murdered James Ramp and still a murderer. But yet she is free to do as she wishes, while Officer Ramp is free only to lay in his grave.

In an effort to demonstrate to the parole board the resistance to the release of the "MOVE 9", I started a petition that to date has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures. I have set a goal of 10,000 to send to the parole board around June or July.

Additionally, with the help of one of this website’s readers, I have been able to ascertain more information as to how people can voice their concerns about the possible release of these killers.
However, I am sad to report that according to the rules of the PA Parole Board that as outrageous as it may sound, the concerns of individual citizens are not to be considered when parole is considered for an inmate. The only exceptions are for those directly affected by the crime, family members, those officers and firefighters wounded, etc...Incredibly, the people of the community to which these murderers are to be released upon are not to be considered .

However, I would have to think on a personal level that if inundated by letters and presented with thousands of signatures, that such an outpouring of outrage would have to affect the decision of the parole board. That the board has already let out one of the murderers of James Ramp is vile enough, to unleash eight more is unconscionable and must be stopped.

The destruction that MOVE members have wrought upon the community is well known, the last thing the world needs is more of them out there. As it is, the cult on a daily basis, engages in illegal activity stretching from welfare fraud to the rape of children. All of this and the still "unsolved" murder of John Gilbride, whom I have no doubt was killed as a result of his conflict with MOVE.

So, in addition to signing the petition, I am encouraging people to write the parole board at the following address:

Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole1101 South Front Street, Suite 5100Harrisburg, PA 17104-2517(717) 787-5699

If you would like to have a copy of your letter reprinted on this website please email a copy to and indicate any information that you do not want to have posted online.

For more information on the case of the "MOVE 9" please visit the following website or email me at

Faulkner Rally: Big Upbeat

On the 26th anniversary of his murder in Center City, Officer Daniel Faulkner was memorialized yesterday in South Philadelphia at an event that was more festive and commercial than somber.

With the Avalon String Band playing cheerful Christmas songs, hundreds of police officers and civilians gathered at Geno's Steaks to pay tribute to the officer whose convicted killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is better known than the victim.

This year, the ceremony attracted a larger crowd than before because it coincided with the release of Murdered by Mumia, a book by Maureen Faulkner, the officer's widow, that was intended as a counterpoint to Abu-Jamal's widely recognized campaign to proclaim his innocence.

While a bookseller sold copies, buyers lined up to get them signed by Faulkner or coauthor Michael Smerconish, the radio personality who also writes columns for The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

"This is what you call a book signing, South Philly-style," Smerconish said.

There were somber moments. A prayer was said, Taps was played, and "Amazing Grace" wailed from bagpipes played by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums Corps.

Though Abu-Jamal's supporters have protested at some other events associated with the book release, they were not in evidence yesterday afternoon, despite rumors that they might show up.

Joey Vento, the owner of Geno's who has put the names of fallen officers on his brick sidewalk, said that as recently as Saturday night, vandals tried to deface the memorial he has built for Faulkner outside his business.

Yesterday, protesters would have been outnumbered. "It's a little bad territory for them to come in here," Vento said. "This is very pro-cop. We believe in justice."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Mumia "Brand" And The "Polakoff Photos" Debunked

A couple of days ago, in an interview, Michael Smerconish made the point that Mumia is now more or less a brand name. While in years past, it was Che Guerva’s image that helped to define what was "radical chic", now, to a lesser extent it is Mumia’s dread locked image that is arguably the most identifiable within the ideological confines of the far-left.

It is a phenomena that is interesting considering that Jamal’s imagery and mythology is marketed with all of the tactics employed by the most ardent of capitalists. By and large by people who claim to be one kind of socialist or another.

Almost as if on a schedule, Jamal supporters can be counted upon to routinely attach themselves to whatever the latest spin is, seemingly unaware of the fact that each new conspiracy theory invariably invalidates the previous one and a whole new conceptualization of the case must be cobbled together in order for the ever-changing narrative to be at least somewhat coherent.

There are however, a couple of things that have remained steady throughout this quarter century long, ideologically driven, scheme.

The first of which is the fact that Jamal has not offered a viable explanation as to what occurred on December 9, 1981. His affidavit, which contradicts that of his brother "I ain’t got nothing to do with it" Billy Cook, who has also not offered anything of substance and has never testified in a courtroom as to his version of events of that evening. Nor has Jamal ever mentioned how his weapon, with all rounds fired, ended up on the ground next to him instead of being in it’s hidden holster.

The second consistent theme is the fact that the arguments employed by Jamal supporters are in a state of infinite regression. As one theory after another falls apart in the face of facts, another is brought into fill the gap. It is very much like how a clothing line operates. Every season Ralph Lauren needs to bring in a new batch of designs in order to keep people interested and buying what he has to sell. However, in Jamal’s case it isn’t about clothes (although you can purchase a "Free Mumia" shirt) it is still largely about the personal gain of those involved. So while Polo audaciously sells shirts for $80 that were made for less than $4.00 in China, the Mumia machine constantly needs new theories as a means of keeping people in it’s ranks.
You could literally chart out on a time line the radical changes in the arguments presented by Jamal supporters, that until recently all had to have the same ending of Jamal the victim, Jamal as innocent victim, and Jamal the innocent victim of a racist frame-up.

However, as his support wanes, the movement is now embracing those who for years were considered literal heretics for even considering the idea that Jamal may have shot Officer Faulkner. Just a few years ago, someone like Dave Lindorff who writes in his book on the case that Jamal "maybe" shot Officer Faulkner would not be invited to speak at a press conference with Pam Africa at his side. Instead, he would have and was demonized, heckled, by members of the group that he admitted to me was in fact a "cult".

Now, we are starting to see the groundwork laid for the next act in the Jamal melodrama, that of Mumia as the shooter, but a justified shooter, as it was done in "self-defense". This of course would explain why Jamal slyly has maintained his "innocence", but has not in a quarter of a century gotten around to denying that he shot Officer Faulkner. That is, of course if you don’t count the 2001 affidavit, which I think is safe to say is not very credible considering it was so sloppy that it could not be corroborated by eyewitnesses nor his own brother’s affidavit and was little more than a prop in the "Beverly confession" that was so Jamal conspiracy theory in style at the dawn of the century.

But, before one gets around to conceding the obvious fact that Mumia shot Officer Faulkner, one must endure the latest fad in the Jamal cause, the "Polakoff photos", which I would argue is the least impressive of all of them all.

At least William Singletary and Arnold Beverly, proven liars that they were, attempted to provide exculpatory evidence. That is evidence that would, if proven, would have ended up with Jamal walking out of prison as a free man.

The same cannot be said for the "Polakoff photos". Pictures from the crime scene that I must first point out that were not first presented in this current context by Michael Schiffman, but by me. This is something that Schiffman will not publicly admit, but as I pointed out in a previous post, has lied about.

More importantly, there is absolutely nothing in those pictures that come close to exonerating Mumia.

I interviewed Pedro Polakoff for this blog and have written about his pictures and have taken the pro-Jamal interpretations of the photos and contrasted them with the trial transcripts and instead of discovering that the photos shed new light on the case, I found that for the most part they showed what was already known.

As the photos were presented on the "Today Show", Maureen Faulkner rhetorically asked the question as to why it took so long for the photos to come into play for Team Mumia. Michael Schiffman, in his usual shady kind of way offered the following disingenuous response:

"Indeed she has a point here. The reason it took so long is that the DA didn't want these photos, indeed didn't want to have anything to do with them and actually deep-sixed them. We can ask, why? Their authenticity is not in question as several of them appeared in the papers at the time. They didn't want them on account of what they might show, and investigation that was incredibly sloppy and manipulative. Their lack of interest - and the fact that they didn't inform the defense - alone might be reason for a new trial, as correctly pointed out by Linn Washington at the Dec. 4 press conference in Philadelphia."

Schiffman is not only disingenuous, but apparently can now read the minds of those at the District Attorney’s Office back in 1981 and offers an absurd spin about the pictures, while engaging in gross hyperbole in an effort to turn nothing into something. Nor does he actually get around to answering the question as he is caught up in his own mind-numbing platitudes.
Schiffman has no clue as to why the DA’s Office did not buy Polakoff’s photos. He is merely assuming what he ought to have to prove in order to fit his already fixed agenda. I would contend that it is very likely that in most cases, especially in the days before everyone had cell phone cameras, that the police relied more so on their own crime scene photos than from journalists or other sources.

The reason as to why the "Free Mumia" cause did not have the pictures until recently is that the photographer did not offer them to the defense until contacted by Michael Schiffman. And at the time of my interview with him, Polakoff had yet to have his calls returned by Jamal’s attorney nor had he been deposed for an affidavit. This being the case, I can only surmise that Jamal’s attorney realizes that the photos are useless in a legal setting, despite their propaganda value outside of the courtroom.

The trial transcripts which apparently puts Jamal supporters like Ed Asner to sleep, is where you go to find out that the photos are much ado about nothing. Simply put, there are not going to be to many journalists to bother scouring the thousands of pages of transcripts to investigate the photos, whereas the DA and any judge who were to review the photos certainly will.

Eventually, however, as more people take the time to really look at the pictures and juxtapose them against the trial testimony, diminishing returns for these celebrated photos will set in and Jamal supporters will be off scrambling for the next batch of "evidence" to use to propel them into the limelight, where they can again claim victory as they manage to dupe journalists who have a four pm deadline, while oblivious to the fact that they and their pictures would be laughed out a courtroom, just as they were with Singletary, Beverly, the ".44 caliber myth" and the dozen or so other ridiculous attempts to "Free Mumia". Brick by Brick Lie by Lie ought to be their new motto.

But, what of the pictures? I would be remiss to bring them up, deny their value, and than not address the supposed issues raised by them.

On "The Today Show" Matt Lauer presented the photo evidence this way:

"There are some photographs that have been released by supporters of Mumia, and they were taken by a freelancer named Pedro Polakoff. The supporters say that these photos show a policeman holding two guns in his bare hand, contradicting the officer's trial testimony that he had preserved ballistics evidence. Another shows you husband's hat on top of a car, and not on the sidewalk as it is in the official police photo of the crime scene. A third shows a blood-stained sidewalk where the shooting took place, but does not show any signs of the marks in the concrete that might have occurred if your husband had been shot from above as prosecutors contended. The defense attorney says that he can 'have a field day' with these photographs if a new trial..."

The Officer holding the two guns is Officer Forbes, he was one of the first Officers on the scene, the first image of relevance he observed was the grizzly sight of a mortally wounded, fellow Officer. At this point, it is important to note that there are only two officers on the scene, a dying cop, William Cook standing there, with Mumia on the ground, and two weapons also on the ground.

Officer Forbes testified as to the following in front of the jury:

"A. Yes, I did. After I picked up the revolvers I walked back and I held onto him until other arriving Police could frisk him.
Q. And he had no weapons, did he?
A. No, he didn't, none that I found.
Q. Now, Officer Forbes, did Mr. Cook say anything to you?
A. As I was approaching him he was looking in the direction of my partner Robert Shoemaker, and he said, "I ain't got nothing to do with this." And as I got closer to him he looked up at me and repeated the same thing, "I ain't got nothing to do with this."
Later on, he again mentions holding both weapons in one hand after securing Billy Cook and holstering his own weapon.
A. Before I picked up the guns, because I picked both guns up with my right hand by the wooden grips and placed them in my left hand so as not to ruin any possible fingerprints."

Forbes makes it clear in his testimony that he never touched the metal parts of the gun. Of course, on Schiffman’s website is the claim that Forbes is seen touching the metal parts of the gun and that there are other photos that further demonstrate this "fact". Yet, the picture on the site shows Forbes holding the weapon that is visible on the wooden grip as he testified.
But for the sake of argument let us assume Schiffman is correct and that Officer Forbes mishandled the weapons and destroyed finger prints.

First of all, the jury knew that their was no prints found on Jamal’s weapon. This tells us at least one thing and that if they wanted to "frame" Mumia, that the police were not doing a good job. How hard would it have been for Forbes to go over to a wounded Jamal and get his hand print on the weapon? Not very. Could not the ballistics technicians simply lie about obtaining prints? Certainly they could have if their goal was to "frame Mumia" as opposed to finding out who killed a fellow Officer

It is not argued that the revolver found next to Mumia was in fact his weapon, that he purchased, that he admitted to carrying that night, and for which he had a hidden holster for. Furthermore, nobody denies that the weapon had all of it’s rounds fired. Eyewitnesses have Jamal with the weapon in his hand, other witnesses actually see him shooting Officer Faulkner.
So what difference would it be if Forbes accidentally did smudge the gun? I would almost not be surprised had he not done so between the time that he picked them up to the time that he gave them to the Ballistics room for examination. The jury knew there was no fingerprints on the gun, yet they realized that they were basing their decision on the sum total of the evidence and not one tiny, and in this case, inconsequential detail.

What could possibly be Schiffman’s point, assuming his summation is correct? That somebody other than Mumia somehow got the gun away from Mumia, out of it’s concealed holster, fired all of the rounds contained therein, and than dropped the weapon a foot away from Mumia? It is a clearly incredible theory, but it almost seems like the direction that Schiffman is going with his line of reasoning.

Is it his contention that a smudged fingerprint should let an obvious killer walk free in the face of overwhelming evidence? Perhaps that is good enough for Schiffman, but it is not good enough for me and it clearly will not be good enough for the courts.

The next reference to the Polakoff photos has to do with Officer Faulkner’s hat and where it was located. Perhaps I am being flippant, but who cares? In the chaos that enveloped the scene of the crime it is perfectly acceptable to believe that Faulkner’s hat got shuffled around as police officers worked to detain and subdue a struggling Jamal and struggled to get Officer Faulkner into a vehicle so that he could be taken to a hospital.

The next issue raised by Matt Lauer has to do with the lack of "divots" visible in Polakoff’s picture.

Christian Peheim addressed this issue at length in a previous article and does so better than I could, so I think it worth it to quote him at length.

"The last part of the drama consisted of 2 or 3 shots fired at close range, one of them killing the officer instantly. Schiffmann says, that description is "physically and ballistically impossible" because no divots generated by the missing shots can be seen at the photos. Since White, Scanlan and Chobert gave similar testimony all three of them were lying and the testimony has been fabricated by the police. The author of "Race Against Death" likes to use strong but empty words together with insults and defamatory allegations. In reality the missing divots are by far not the "nail in the coffin" of the prosecution's case. Let's take a look at his arguments.

Witnesses testified to some shots at Daniel Faulkner after he fell to the ground. Scanlan said there were two or three shots and he could remember seeing two flashes. Since evidence of two or three shots has been found at the entrance of Locust 1234 that number fits quite well to Abu-Jamal's Charter Arms revolver with 5 spent shells. As a result, at least one missing shot has to be explained. An alternative scenario has to fulfill a few prerequisites in order to be used as evidence which outweighs the testimony given by eyewitnesses:

The crucial area of the crime scene has to be covered by photos.

The groove has to be clearly bigger than any common irregularity of the concrete surface.

Photos of the crime scene have to be sufficiently detailed in order to distinguish between gun shot traces and the natural grainy surface of concrete.

There must be no evidence that Daniel Faulkner has been shot when lying on the ground.
Maybe the reason for the last point is not obvious. Let's assume the following scenario:
During the scuffle at the pavement Daniel Faulkner fell to the ground and the shooter fired at a small angle downward at the officer. That first shoot hit the ground at a certain distance and got lost somewhere towards 12th street.

Afterwards, the second shot killed Daniel Faulkner and the shooter went away. This scenario would not require any grooves in the sidewalk and it would be close to the testimony. As a result it could not be used to contradict the eyewitnesses.

Schiffmann gave a scenario which takes care of that problem. He writes that the first shot killed Faulkner while he was standing. Afterwards Faulkner fell on his knee (his left knee was injured) before falling to the ground and the shooter lowered the gun for a second shot. The second shot went through the collar of the jacket and disappeared towards 12th street. This scenario includes a clear time problem.

There is a considerable distance between head and collar and in order to fire a bullet at the collar the shooter requires some time to realize that his victim is falling down and to aim again. However, Daniel Faulkner would have fallen to the back (due to the impact), he would have collapsed immediately and he would have been lying on the ground within a fraction of a second. At the time the shooter was able to shoot at the collar Daniel Faulkner already would have been on the ground. Therefore, that shot would have hit the pavement and would have left gunshot traces. This scenario contradicts itself.

There is no good photo which shows the area around Daniel Faulkner's head. The best photo ever published is a crime scene photo taken by police. None of the published photos by Pedro Polakoff offers a better view of that area. Actually, the quality of Polakoff's photos is not impressive. The digital copies which are available show impurities and some reflections which may have been generated by drops on the lens, and they have been scanned from old paper print-outs with visible cracks.

Such photo's quality depends on factors like type of film, depth, angle, lighting, or the quality of the camera. Negative for the picture quality are the considerable depth, the flat angle, and decreasing light towards the back. On the other hand, the picture most likely has been taken by an experienced person with a high quality camera. However, the photo is not free of impurities. The distance from the blood stain is rather big and most likely it is not the trace of a shot. Additionally, the pavement is a typical concrete floor with dark and light stains.Another problem is the size of the blood stain. A big area around Daniel Faulkner's head was covered with blood. That is the same area where a bullet most likely would have hit the sidewalk. A groove under the blood would require a rather big size to be visible. A small groove would have been filled with blood and could not be seen anymore. How big a groove could be expected? A final answer can be obtained by tests only. The result depends on many factors and it would not be a clear result but a wide range of possible results. No one ever asked for tests like this. Without that tests we can base our estimation on the other projectiles from the crime scene.

Crucial factors are the concrete's strength and resistance against abrasion, the projectile's strength and the angle of impact. We cannot find out how deep the groove would be but we can make a rough estimation whether the groove could be too small to be visible on the photo. The first complete projectile has been found in the plaster beside the door. Due to its deformation it could not be used to determine the gun but it still was one piece and did not splinter. The plaster was not broken out because otherwise the projectile would not have stayed there.

The second projectile was found in the head of Daniel Faulkner. It entered the head at the front but could not break the back side of the skull. This projectile too was severely deformed but did not splinter (maybe except for a small fragment 10 by 3 by 2 millimeter). Compared to the plaster beside the door and to human bones the concrete of the pavement is much harder. Concrete surfaces of sidewalks or streets show a very high resistance against mechanical abrasion, especially if the concrete is old. Cement hardens fast during the first days and weeks but that process continues at a lower pace for many years. Typical strength of concrete starts at 20 MPa (around 2500psi) but is considerable higher if concrete is already a few years old. Strength of plaster is only a fraction of this value. At the same time the surface becomes harder due to constant use. Foot traffic removes the softer parts of the surface and after some time the gravel (natural stones) embedded within the cement matrix becomes visible. This effect is responsible for the hard surface and the grainy appearance of concrete pavements.

Crime scene photos show that the pavement was already old. How big an effect could be expected on the sidewalk? Most likely no concrete chunks would have been broken out. This did not even happen to the much weaker plaster beside the door. We cannot determine how big the groove would be. The hole in the plaster can be used as upper limit, but we don't have a lower limit. We only know that it would be clearly smaller then the hole in the plaster but not how much smaller.

It is at least possible for that groove to be hidden under the blood stain or to be undetectable at the given resolution. There is no evidence to rule out that small a groove. Schiffmann's assumptions about divots and concrete chunks have no basis. He writes about his conversation with an expert but cannot give details.

Years ago Jamal's defense used similar arguments and did not provide clear expert testimony. There simply isn't sufficient evidence to call the prosecution witnesses liars. After the deadly bullet has entered Daniel Faulkner's head the high pressure blew out some blood. The blood stain reveals that he has received the deadly shot when he was lying on the ground. Photos reveal a straight line of blood with a length of some 50cm (20 inches). It could not have left the victim's body due to normal blood pressure because it clearly goes upwards while all the other blood goes down to the curb. That line of blood has been generated when Daniel Faulkner was on the ground and someone shot him.

In essence, what we have is Schiffman viewing the entire crime scene thru the prism of the Polakoff pictures and his interpretation of them and he wants everyone else to do the same. His speculation concerning the "missing divots" is simply that, speculation.

It is an example of Schiffman setting up a" straw man" argument that is designed to limit people’s attention to only the evidence that he perceive is worth looking at.

That Maureen Faulkner would express disgust at the attempted use of these photos as an argument for Jamal’s innocence is completely understandable. It is a road she has been down numerous times, with pro-Jamal "activists" contriving evidence as a means of distraction and cheap publicity and even cheaper applause from Jamal supporters.

But the fact is that whatever the "Polakoff pictures" are, they are not the ticket out of jail for Mumia. They are the props in the latest in a long line of intentionally misleading stunts designed to turn attention away from the fact that there is nothing to be presented that points to anyone other than Jamal being the man who killed Officer Faulkner.

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