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(H. Rap Brown trial) Witnesses Say Agents Fired at Brown (AP)

Associated Press Writer

March 6, 2002, 9:40 PM EST

ATLANTA -- Residents of the tiny Alabama town where Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin was arrested two years ago testified Wednesday they saw FBI agents fire automatic weapons during a manhunt for the former black-power radical.
FBI agents earlier testified they didn't fire any shots when Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was arrested in White Hall, Ala. He is standing trial for allegedly killing a Fulton County sheriff's deputy and wounding another in a shootout in his southwest Atlanta neighborhood on March 16, 2000.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Al-Amin.

The defense contends that someone else and not Al-Amin shot it out with deputies. They also are trying to convince the jury that Al-Amin was framed as part of a government conspiracy that included planting weapons in woods near where the Muslim cleric was arrested four days later.

White Hall resident Kourtney Davis testified that he looked out a window at his home and saw two FBI agents firing automatic rifles from behind an SUV.

They were shooting at a man -- who appeared to be unarmed -- running into the woods, Davis testified.

Three other residents testified they saw agents fire weapons but did not see what they were shooting at.

Also Wednesday, a toxicology expert testified that the wounded deputy, Aldranon English, likely was disoriented by painkillers when he picked Al-Amin out of a photo lineup the day after the shooting.

David Benjamin testified that the dose of morphine and a booster drug probably would have sedated and confused the deputy.

"His mental facilities would have been impaired by those medications," Benjamin testified.

The jury also heard from a 911 operator who took an anonymous call after the shooting that a bleeding man had been begging for a ride in the neighborhood and was hiding behind a vacant building.

English testified earlier that he thought he shot the man who turned on him and partner Ricky Kinchen with an assault rifle as they tried to serve him with an arrest warrant.

Al-Amin was uninjured when he was arrested four days later.

Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press



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