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Police Beat and Arrest Mumia Supporters

Mumia Supporters Need Support
Update on Arrest of Mumia supporters in Phila.- Bail $


needed by IAC-Boston 7:37am Mon Dec 10 '01


iacboston (at) iacboston.org





INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL URGENT APPEAL, LATEST UPDATED INFORMATION -


PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY: THE MOST URGENT ISSUE RIGHT NOW IS THE NEED FOR MONEY FOR BAIL





PLEASE FORWARD AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY (ON AND OFF-LINE!)





1. THE MOST URGENT ISSUE RIGHT NOW IS THE NEED FOR MONEY FOR BAIL - THE BONDS SET RANGE FROM BETWEEN $8,000 AND $100,000. THE TOTAL ESTIMATED AMOUNT IS APPROXIMATELY $320,000 FOR ALL THOSE WITH BAIL SET - WE HAVE TO RAISE APPROXIMATELY $15,000 MINIMUM TO BAIL THE REMAINING PEOPLE OUT. 8 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED, 2 WERE RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGES OR BAIL, AND SOME PEOPLE ARE BEING BAILED OUT, BUT WE MUST URGENTLY RAISE MONEY TO PAY BACK LOANS MADE FOR BAIL.





2. 5 OF THE 6 WHO WERE CHARGED HAVE BEEN ARRAIGNED AND HAVE BAILS AND CHARGES SET. EACH OF THESE 6 MUMIA SUPPORTERS WERE GIVEN FELONY CHARGES, INCLUDING FELONY ASSAULT AND FELONY RIOT, AS WELL AS CONSPIRACY, ASSAULT, AND CONSPIRACY TO RIOT.





3. THIS WAS A **LEGALLY PERMITTED DEMONSTRATION AND MARCH** AND THE KIND OF VIOLENCE POLICE EXHIBITED YESTERDAY WAS HIGHLY UNUSUAL FOR MUMIA MARCHES IN PHILADELPHIA.





4. THERE ARE SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO ARE PREPARED TO MAKE STATEMENTS TO THE MEDIA - MEDIA PERSONS SHOULD CONTACT JODI DODD AT 215-563-7110.





5. 4 PEOPLE WERE HOSPITALIZED WITH INJURED INCLUDING:


PROLONGED STATES OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS, AT LEAST ONE CONCUSSION, FRACTURED TAILBONE, INTERNAL BLEEDING,


SEVERE ABRASIONS -- THE WORST INJURED PERSON WAS


FINALLY RELEASED. NO ONE IS CURRENTLY IN THE HOSPITAL, ALL ARE IN CUSTODY OR IN THE PROCESS OF BEING


RELEASED.





6. EVEN THOUGH THE MOST INJURED PERSON ALREADY BEEN RELEASED, WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE IN JAIL WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHO ARE IN NEED OF MEDICATION AND TREATMENT. THERE ARE 2 PEOPLE WHO ARE IN JAIL WITHOUT FAMILY NEARBY AND UNTIL WE MAKE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN PROVIDE MONEY FOR THEM, THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN GET THEM OUT ON BAIL IS THROUGH DONATIONS FROM ACTIVISTS AROUND THE COUNTRY.





7. WITNESSES AND DEFENDANTS NEED TO CALL US AT: 215-476-5416 IMMEDIATELY. ANYBODY WHO HAS ANY VIDEO OR PHOTO FOOTAGE OR KNOWS ANYONE WHO DOES NEEDS TO CALL IMMEDIATELY AND GIVE THEIR NAME, PHONE NUMBER, AND E-MAIL ADDRESS. PHONE MESSAGES WILL BE CHECKED REGULARLY. IT IS URGENT THAT WE GET ALL OF THIS INFORMATION TO LAWYERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. EVERY WITNESS THAT HAS CALLED IN THUS FAR TELLS A SIMILAR STORY AFTER HAVING SEEN THE WHOLE THING HAPPEN AND ALL REPORT WITNESSING THE POLICE POUNCE ON PROTESTORS WITHOUT ANY PROVOCATION OR CONFRONTATION.





8. WE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL D.A. LYNN ABRAHAM TO DEMAND THAT ALL CHARGES BE DROPPED AT 215-686-9604, OR FAX 215-686-8049.





9. PLEASE WRITE AND E-MAIL LOCAL AND NATIONAL PRESS (SOME PHILLY PRESS ADDRESSES ARE AVAILABLE AT PHILLYNEWS.COM). DO NOT GIVE NAMES OR DESCRIPTIONS OF SUPPORTERS OVER THE TELEPHONE, IN E-MAILS OR IN LETTERS BECAUSE THAT INFORMATION IS NEEDED FOR INTERVIEWS WITH LAWYERS. IN PHONE DISCUSSIONS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, PLEASE GIVE GENERAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF HOW POLICE CAME DOWN SO HARD ON PROTESTORS WITHOUT PROVOCATION, BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF MISINFORMATION IN THE MEDIA SAYING THAT PROTESTORS PROVOKED IT IN AN ATTEMPT TO COVER UP THE FACT THAT THIS WAS A POLICE RIOT.





10. PLEASE CALL PHILADELPHIA MAYOR JOHN STREET AT


215-686-2181 OR FAX 215-686-3162, AS WELL AS ACTING


POLICE COMMISSIONER JOHNSON AT 215-686-3280, AND MAKE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WAY PEOPLE WERE TREATED ON THE STREETS AND IN CUSTODY. ** ICFFMAJ IS URGING PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY AND WORLD TO MAKE DONATIONS IF YOU CAN, AND LOANS IF YOU CAN'T MAKE ACTUAL DONATIONS. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO GET THESE PEOPLE RELEASED FROM JAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE NEED PEOPLE TO FUNDRAISE ASAP. **





THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MAKE DONATIONS:


A. THE IDEAL THING IS TO WIRE MONEY SO THAT IT CAN BE


PICKED UP AS CASH, BECAUSE ONLY CASH CAN BE USED TO BAIL PEOPLE OUT. PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE AT 215-476-5416 SO THAT WE WILL KNOW TO PICK IT UP OR IT WILL JUST SIT THERE.





PLEASE WIRE MONEY TO: ANTHONY ALLEN 3960 DENNISON AVE., APT. D-3 DREXEL HILL, PA 19026 YOU WILL NEED HIS PHONE NUMBER (610) 394-0306


B. PLEASE SEND CHECKS IF YOU CANNOT WIRE MONEY. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO PDAG (PHILADELPHIA DIRECT ACTION GROUP), P.O. BOX 40683, PHLA., PA 19107 - SPECIFY IN THE MEMO LINE "DECEMBER 8TH LEGAL FUND". IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DONATION PROCESS OR IF YOU NEED TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION, CALL DANIELLE AT 215-680-1174 (MESSAGES WILL BE FREQUENTLY CHECKED).





STAY STRONG, STAY COMMITTED!!


THANKS SO MUCH FOR WHATEVER YOU CAN DO!!


CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP, UNTIL MUMIA IS FREE!!


www.mumia.org


www.mumia.org/freedom.now/





Mumia's State Appeal Denied by Judge Dembe,


Appeal in the Federal Courts is Still Open.


ALL OUT FOR MUMIA DEC. 7th-9th!





By STEVE ARGUE


On November 21st Philadelphia State Judge Pamela Dembe rejected death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeal to have new evidence heard in state court. That new evidence includes the confession of Arnold Beverly to killing Officer Faulkner, the crime Mumia has been framed of committing.


While this is a major blow to Mumia's legal battle, it is not his final appeal. Mumia may still have another appeal to the State Supreme Court. In any event Mumia's case is still in Federal Court before Judge Yohn. Facing bad rulings so far in Federal court, Mumia's legal team is attempting to bring the case back into a state court to hear the new evidence. The case has yet to be decided in Federal Court. A decision by Judge Yohn in Federal Court for execution would be Mumia's final legal appeal.


The government's attempt to murder Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1995 was halted by mass protests and international support, stopping his execution within days of it being scheduled to take place. Continued support for Mumia in the streets will be necessary to keep Mumia alive and free him.


As a freelance journalist Mumia exposed the murderous police brutality and political repression carried out by the police against the MOVE organization in Philadelphia. That murderous repression was then directed at Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1981.


On September 4th, Sam Jordan, Director of the Amnesty International USA Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, gave speeches on the innocence of Mumia Abu-Jamal in Durban, South Africa, in connection with the UN Conference on Racism. Other prominent endorsers of Mumia's campaign include the European Parliament, Nelson Mandela, the Congressional Black Caucus, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, and many unions in the United States and around the world.


The frame-up trial of Mumia twenty years ago included the testimony of three eyewitnesses (Veronica Jones, William Singletary, and Robert Chobert) who later said they were threatened, coerced, or made promises by the police to get them to give false testimony against Mumia.


False evidence against Mumia also included a supposed confession to the police by Mumia the night he was arrested. The original police report by Officer Gary Wakshul who was with Mumia the entire time through his arrest and medical treatment stated, "during this time the Negro male made no comment." Yet Gary Wakshul testified at Mumia's trial that he heard Mumia confess that night. Gary Wakshul didn't "remember" this confession until almost three months after Mumia's arrest when prosecutor McGill met with police asking for a confession. Officer Wakshul absurdly stated that he didn't think the confession was important at the time he wrote his original report.


This past August 17th Mumia was not even allowed into his own hearing in State Court on the incredible excuse that there was no room for Mumia to be transferred to a Philadelphia jail where the hearing was taking place.


Mumia's exile from his own hearing was reminiscent of 20 years ago, when Mumia was barred from attending his own trial. At that time Mumia was convicted in his absence. Judge Albert Sabo claimed that Mumia was barred for being disruptive. Yet court records have now revealed that Sabo barred Mumia from his own trial at the request of Mumia's incompetent and now disbarred defense attorney, Anthony Jackson. The court appointed attorney made his request on the grounds that Mumia was about to fire him and would if Mumia wasn't barred from the trial. Sabo's granting of Jackson's request was a clear violation of Mumia's right to legal representation of his choice and of his right to be present at his own trial.


This past May Mumia's attorneys dropped a legal bombshell by submitting into court a sworn affidavit that contains the confession of Arnold Beverly to the murder that Mumia is accused of committing.


The new evidence the court is refusing to hear includes the confession of Arnold Beverly who states in his sworn affidavit, "I shot Faulkner at close range." Faulkner was the cop Mumia is framed for killing. Beverly also states very clearly, "Faulkner was shot in the back and in the face before Jamal came on the scene. Jamal had nothing to do with the shooting."


Arnold Beverly's confession is corroborated by eyewitness statements. Beverly says he was wearing a green army jacket the night he shot Faulkner. William Singletary was there the night of the shooting. He says he saw a man shoot Faulkner and it was not Mumia. He also states that the actual killer was wearing a green army jacket.


Four eyewitnesses, including two cops, put a man wearing a green army jacket on the scene.


Five eyewitnesses described a man fleeing the scene the way Beverly describes he did. Mumia of course was not running anywhere, he was lying on the ground with a bullet in his chest.


According to Arnold Beverly, Mumia arrived on the scene after Beverly had already shot Faulkner. Beverly says that Mumia was then shot by an arriving officer. The prosecution claims that Mumia was shot by Faulkner in self defense as Faulkner laid on the ground dieing. Yet Beverly's story does fit with forensic evidence and the report of a cop at the scene that night. The cop stated that Mumia was shot by an arriving officer. The downward trajectory of the bullet into Mumia's chest also makes it physically impossible for Faulkner to have shot Mumia from the ground. In fact five hours after the shooting a police medical examiners report states that Mumia "was shot subsequently by arriving police reinforcements."


On every level Arnold Beverly's sworn confession to a capital offence is in fact backed up by evidence while the prosecutions version of events is not. This, however, has not been cause enough for the prosecution to reconsider pushing for the execution of an innocent man. Instead they are arguing that the new evidence was not brought forward in a timely manner.


Ramona Africa spoke on this point at demonstration of 3,000 for Mumia on August 17th stating, "Judge Dembe has said she wants, in three weeks, some briefs to determine whether or not it's too late to prove his innocence, whether or not this information comes too late. We're saying it's never too late! What is she talking about, too late? We aint interested in legalities. We're interested in what's right. Slavery was legal, but that wasn't right! Apartheid was legal but that wasn't right! The murder of Shaka Sankofa down in Texas, despite his innocence, was legal but that wasn't right! We don't care about legality. We care about justice and what is right."


Mumia's attorney, Eliot Grossman put forward important legal arguments on why the 60 day limit should not apply to Beverly's confession which was first made in 1999. He pointed out that Mumia's former, and fired, legal team of Leonard Weinglass and Dan Williams misinformed Mumia that they were investigating Arnold Beverly's confession when in fact they never had any intention of presenting it for evidence. Williams makes this point clear in his new book "Executing Justice" where he states that he doesn't believe the Beverly confession and that he doesn't believe the police would ever frame up an innocent man. These attorneys allowed the 60 day time line to expire without Mumia's permission or knowledge.


Mumia fired Weinglass and Williams after Williams betrayed attorney client confidentiality in May by publishing the money making book, "Executing Justice," purported to be an insiders account of Mumia's case. The publication of the book at a critical time in Mumia's appeal process shows that Williams was not looking out for Mumia's legal interests. Weinglass also knew the book was coming out, but did not inform Mumia. This, like their treatment of the Arnold Beverly confession, was a betrayal of the interests of their client and shows that they were not adequately representing him.


In July Mumia's new legal team filed a petition to suspend legal proceedings in federal court in order to pursue these new legal challenges in the state court. Now that those petitions are denied the case continues to be reviewed in Federal Court.


Mumia had not gotten any favorable rulings in federal court either. There, Judge Yohn has already ruled that Beverly's confession is inadmissible citing the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996. The act, among other things, sets a time limit of one year for death row inmates to present new evidence. Yohn echoed the prosecution by falsely stating the "petitioner chose not to present his claim to the state court or even to this court until May 2001."


Yohn's chilling decision also cited the infamous 1993 Herrera decision that proof of innocence is no bar for execution.


In addition, according to Clinton's 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, a decision for execution in Yohn's court will be Mumia's final legal appeal.


Faced with this situation Mumia's legal team saw the need to attempt a hearing with the new evidence in state court. Yet the rulings and statements of both Judge Dembe and Judge Yohn, along with those of Judge Sabo before them, are in effect saying that an American court of law is no place for evidence proving Mumia's innocence.


On September 4th of this year Terri Maurer-Carter, an official court stenographer in the courts where Mumia was framed, came forward with more information on the state of mind of Judge Sabo during the trial. She states in a newly submitted affidavit, "Judge Sabo and another person were engaged in conversation. Judge Sabo was discussing the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During the course of that conversation, I heard Judge Sabo say, "Yeah, and I'm going to help them fry the n______." There were three people present when Judge Sabo made that remark,


including myself."


Judge Sabo presided over Mumia's original frame-up trial, but he didn't just do that. He came out of retirement to rule against Mumia at subsequent appeal hearings on whether Mumia got a fair trial. At these hearings Sabo ruled that Sabo had not violated Mumia's legal rights by denying him legal representation of his choice and denying him the right to attend his own trial.


Judge Sabo also ruled for the prosecution against the admissibility of the testimony of a key eyewitness in the original trial, Veronica Jones, who stated that she was coerced through threats from the police into giving false testimony against Mumia in the original trial. Jones was a prostitute who says that the police threatened her with prison on warrants and of taking her children away if she didn't say what the police wanted. She was later arrested off of the witness stand on a petty warrant while she told the truth testifying at the hearing for a new trial. This testimony was important evidence of the fact that a frame-up had taken place. Yet Sabo did not allow a new trial based on this information or any of the other evidence brought forward.


Another key ingredient missing in the prosecution's case against Mumia is a motive. Beverly's confession, however, does contain a clear motive. Beverly states, "I was hired, along with another guy, and paid to shoot and kill Faulkner. I had heard that Faulkner was a problem for the mob and corrupt policemen because he interfered with the graft and payoffs made to allow illegal activity including prostitution, gambling, drugs without prosecution in the center city area."


The entire chain of police command that "investigated" Mumia have in fact since been removed from the Philadelphia police force for corruption. At the time Faulkner was killed in December 1981, the FBI was involved in at least three investigations of the police in the center city area for corruption including extortion and bribery connected to the mob, prostitution, after-hours clubs, and gambling in the center city area. Targeted in the FBI investigation were Inspector Alphonzo Giordono, the senior cop at the scene of Faulkner's shooting, James Carlinini, head of homicide, and John DeBenedetto, head of the division where Faulkner worked.


Witnesses and informants in the FBI investigation were murdered. This included a witness who testified against DeBenedetto in 1983.


Police concern that Faulkner may have been an FBI informant could easily have led to his murder. Donald Hersing who was a source for the FBI at the time testifies in an affidavit for the defense that the Philadelphia cops were very concerned about possible FBI informants at the time. In a similar situation the LAPD Rampart cop who blew the whistle on police corruption and murder in LA was released from prison this summer. He immediately went into hiding out of fear for his life from fellow officers.


Attorney Eliot Grossman stated at a press conference, "Mumia Abu-Jamal was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a hit was in progress on a police officer causing problems interfering with police corruption." But for the Philadelphia police he was at the right place at the right time. He had exposed the murderous police violence used against the MOVE organization. Corrupt police officers used the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.


Today that conspiracy to murder Mumia Abu-Jamal includes judges, DAs, key Democrat and Republican politicians, and the corporate media who are doing everything they can to prevent the truth from being heard.


Mumia has sat on death row for the past 20 years, removed from his family. Yet he now stands out as an uncompromising voice for the oppressed and exploited. Many have called him the voice of the voiceless. Mumia stands up for unions, against war, against racism, for equality for gays and lesbians, for the poor, against the many injustices of the so-called criminal justice system, for the people, and against the government. Mumia speaks up on many of the issues ignored, lied about, or glossed over by the corporate media and the corporate politicians. We need Mumia, we need him alive, and we need him free. Yet all of the evidence shows that Mumia won't get justice in America's capitalist courts unless we turn up the heat.


Mumia Abu-Jamal's supporters are calling on people of conscience worldwide to rally for Mumia on the weekend of Dec. 7-9, the 20th anniversary of the incident that led to his frame-up.


Student walkouts are planned for Friday, Dec. 7th.


A mass protest is planned in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec.8th. Gather at noon at Broad and Market streets for the rally and march.


Dec. 8th and 9th are set for marches, protests, and teach-ins in cities around the world.


A flier about the events in Philadelphia can be downloaded from www.mumia.org. For more information, call ICFFMAJ at (215) 476-8812.


 
 

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