Who is Mumia Abu Jamal?
Mumia Abu Jamal is a former journalist and Black Panther who is most famous for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer, Daniel Faulkner, in 1981. Although Mumia Abu Jamal was ultimately convicted of the murder, the former Black Panther has maintained innocence since the onset of the trial.
The Murder of Daniel Faulkner:
The murder of Daniel Faulkner occurred sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. in December of 1981. The altercation occurred when Officer Faulkner initiated a routine traffic stop. The car that Faulkner pulled over was being driven by Mumia Abu Jamal’s younger brother, William Cook. According to the prosecution during Abu Jamal’s trial, Cook initiated a physical altercation with Faulkner. Noticing the altercation, Mumia Abu Jamal (whose car was parked across the street) was said to have emerged nearby, shooting Faulkner in the back.
Mumia Abu Jamal’s shot only wounded Faulkner, allowing the officer to return fire. Faulkner’s return fire wounded Abu Jamal, but the former Black Panther was able to get in close range of Faulkner. From closer range, Mumia Abu Jamal fired several shots at Faulkner. One bullet struck Faulkner in the face, killing the officer on impact.
When Faulkner was initially wounded he called for backup; when the additional officers arrived on the scene, they immediately apprehended Mumia Abu Jamal and took him to jail.
Mumia Abu Jamal’s Trial
The Faulkner murder case has long been filled with controversy and inconsistencies. The complexities and ambiguity surrounding the case are due in large part to witness testimonials; several individuals who were present during the murder, stated that Mumia Abu Jamal was unconscious at the time his supposed confession was made. A number of supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal and the Black Panthers use these inconsistencies to state that Mumia Abu Jamal was set up or frames because of his political activism. That being said, there are also numerous individuals who believe that Mumia Abu Jamal was guilty of killing Officer Faulkner.
Despite the fact the murder occurred in Philadelphia, PA, the Mumia Abu-Jamal case, due to the inconsistencies of evidence and the overall feel of the trial, has garnered International intention.
Mumia Abu-Jamal was originally ultimately found guilty for the murder of Officer David Faulkner and sentenced to death; however, his sentence was ultimately overturned in December of 2001. That being said, while the case was overturned, the Judge ordered repeat sentencing at the same time. Mumia Abu Jamal appealed this ruling as did the state of Pennsylvania. Since the appeal, both sides of the David Faulkner trial have attempted to make changes to Mumia Abu Jamal’s punishment.
The Mumia Abu Jamal case has been appealed numerous times and has been heard in the state’s Supreme Court. Although the death sentence was ultimately appealed, each subsequent trial found Mumia Abu Jamal guilty of the slaying. With that in mind, new evidence has been brought to attention of the courts of Pennsylvania and the Mumia Abu Jamal case still remains somewhat ambiguous to this day.