Mumia Abu Jamal

.. shot, but changed her story after receiving threats and promises from two Philadelphia detectives. Ms. Jones was a mother of two at the time and was facing felony charges of welfare fraud and was later convicted of these felony charges. However Ms.

Jones testified in 1982 that she did not see the actual shooting. She stated that she was working the street around the cornor and did not look across the street until after the shooting stopped. When she looked around the cornor, she saw “two men kinda jogging away” from the crime scene. Ms. Jones has never testified that these two men were involved in the crime in any way.21 Today, Ms Jones claims in a sworn affidavit that she gave false testimony under oath against Jamal.

She claims that at the time of the trial, she was coerced by the police to lye. In her statement, Ms. Jones states that approximatly one week before the trial she was visited by two white plain clothed detectives. The detectives began by discussing Mr. Jamal rather than the facts of the case.

They told her that if she testified at the trial and identified Jamal as the shooter, she would not have to worry about her upcoming pending felony charges. She claims to of told the detectives at the time that she did not see the shooting, but only heard the shots. The detectives were not satified with this response and reminded Ms. Jones that she faced a long prison sentence if convicted. She felt at the time that if she did not testify against Mr.

Jamal, she would never see her children again and spend many years in prison. Ms. Jones also claims in her sworn statement that during the trial both detectives were in plain view, standing at the rear of the courtroom. Debra Kordansky is another defense eyewitness that was in the bedroom of her apartment down the street from the crime scene. She heard all five shots but thought they were firecrackers so she did not look out her window until the police arrived on the scene. She saw ten squad cars and two vans and a man running on the South side of Locust Street.

22 Mr. Desie Hightower testified in 1982 that he was down the street from the shooting, behind a building in a parking lot, getting into a car with his friend. Like Ms. Kordansky, Mr. Hightower initially thought the shooting was a kid lighting firecrackers. Mr.

Hightower testified that he “did not have a direct line of vision to the crime scene because he had sought cover behind a wall when the shooting started and then remained there until the shooting stopped. Having waited until quite some time after the shooting stoped before looking around the corner towards the crime scene, he stated that he saw somebody running from the general area of the shooting.” Mr. Hightower has never testified or stated that the person he saw running from the scene was the shooter or involved in the crime in any way. It should be noted that Mr. Hightowers 1982 description of the person he saw running after the police arrived was an exact composite of Mr.

Jamal the morning of the shooting and Mr. Hightower had no explanation for this fact. Furthermore, Mr. Hightower was given a polygraph test on his testimony and passed. William Singletary was a secondary eyewitness for the defense. He not only was present at the crime scene the night of the murder, he had a long discussion with one of the presiding officers. However, he did not testify in the original trial but was called by Judge Sabo during the 1995 appeal of the decision.

Later in 1996, Mr. Singletary was called the key witness in the 1996 HBO documentary on the Jamal trail. He stated that he saw two shooters. The first shot Officer Faulkner in the back and then escaped down the street. The second gunman stepped out of the car Officer Faulkner pulled over (Jamals brother), shot the wounded officer in the face, threw the gun away, and ran away. Then according to Singletary, as Mr.

Jamal approached Officer Faulker to offer assistance, Officer Faulkner raised his hand and shot Mr. Jamal in the chest. Mr. Singletary went on to say that he personally approached Officer Faulkner and heard him say “Get Maureen, get the children.” Maureen is in fact Officer Faulkners wifes first name, however they never had any children. Mr. Singletarys testimony does raise some interesting questions.

Both the prosecution and defense medical experts both agreed that Officer Faulkner died immediately from his head wound. Did Mr. Singletary actually speak to Officer Faulker? How did Mr. Cooks mystery passenger get posession of Mr. Jamals gun, out of its holster, and shoot Officer Faulkner in the head? How was Officer Faulkner shot in the back? . Was there a second man (mystery man) in Mr.

Cooks car? If there was a second man in Mr. Cooks (Jamals brother) car, why hasnt Mr. Cook come forward? Mr. Cook has stated for the record many times that he had nothing to do with the murder of Officer Faulkner and has refused to testify during the trial. Mr.

Singletary also swears that he was admitted in the Philadelphia Police Headquarters (Roundhouse) at 4am on the morning of the shooting and released at 9am. During this time he was interogated and threatened by a black Philadlephia police detective. Mr. Singletary claims he provided a handwritten version of the mornings events, and once it was reviewed by the detective it was balled up and thrown away. Finally frustrated, the interviewing detective typed up his own version of the events that morning and demanded that Mr.

Singletary sign the typed document. Fearing for his safety, Mr. Singletary claims he unwillingly signed the typed police version of the mornings events. Mr. Singletary also claims that the police treatened him at his place of business, windows of his gas station were routinely broken by police, and that his tow trucks were cited for numerous violations.

He claimed in the HBO documentary that the alleged intimidation became so oppressive that he was forced to abandon his business in Philadelphia and leave town, moving to South Carolina. There are many inconsistancies with Mr. Singletarys statement. Log books at the Philadelphia Police Headquarters indicate that Mr. Singletary signed himself in and out of the roundhouse.

He was not questioned by a black detective as he claims, the records show Mr. Singletary was interogated by a white detective with less than eight months experience. It is impossible to prove or disprove weather or not he was threatened by a detective with less than eight months experience. Both the prosecution and defense agree that Robert Chobert was an actual eyewitness to the shooting and one of the closest individuals to the crime. When he was 18 yeas old, Mr.

Chobet was paid to throw a molotov cocktail into an empty school building. He pleaded no contest to the charges and was placed on probation. The night of Officer Faulkners murder, Mr. Chobert was parked in the taxi he was driving 30 feet behind Officer Faulkners police car. He swore in the 1982 trail and 1995 appeal that he saw Mr.

Jamal shoot Officer Faulkner and did not take his eyes off of Jamal until he was arrested and placed in the police van. The defense claims that Mr. Chobert was driving his taxi without a valid drivers license and that the Assistant DA Mr. McGill had an agreement with Mr. Chobert that he would arrange to get his license back in return for favorable testimony. Mr. Chobert confirmed during his 1996 testimony that back in 1982, he did ask the DA on how he could get his license back.

Thirteen years after the shooting and testimony of Mr. Chobert, he still does not have his drivers license back due to his limited source of funds, but has been allowed to continue driving a taxi cab. Four individuals, Michael Scanlon, Cynthia White, Robert Harkins, and Albert Magelton all provided testimony for the prosecution. All four witnesses were unquestionably present during the shooting, eyewitnesses to the murder, and have been deemed credible by the court. “Michael Scanlon was visiting Philadelphia from out of state and was sitting in his car at the intersection of 13th and Locust and witnessed the entire murder, beginning to end.” Mr.

Scanlon testified extensively at the 1982 trail and confirmed that William Cook attacked Officer Faulkner. He went on to testify that the officer reacted to Mr. Cooks attack trying to subdue Mr. Cook. As this was going on, another man came running out from the parking lot across the street towards the officer and Mr.

Cook in front of the police car. Mr. Scanlon saw Jamals hand raise and heard a gunshot. Then the officer fell down on the sidewalk and Mr. Jamal walked over and shot the officer two additional times at point blank range.

Another prostitute working Locust street that night was Cynthia White. Ms. White testified that she was across the street in the parking lot when “I noticed Mr. Jamal running out of the lot and practically on the curb when he shot two times at Officer Faulkner in the back. The officer turned around and staggered and seened like he was grabbing for something but fell. Then Jamal came on top of the officer and shot him some more.” After it was all over, Jamal slouched down and sat on the curb. Credible Eyewitness Albert Magelton was a pedestrian walking across the intersection of 13th and Locust approximatley twenty yards from the shooting.

While testifying in 1982 to what he had witnessed Mr. Magelton stated, “I noticed the gentleman (Jamal) coming from the parking lot. He was moving across the street towards where the officer had stopped the Volkswagen. I heard shots and I did not see the Officer any more. I proceeded back across the street to see what happened to the Officer.

And then, as I was moving across the street, I looked to where I heard the shots. When I got to the pavement, I looked down and saw the Officer lying there. I did not see the other gentleman (Jamal) until I moved up closer and saw him sitting on the curb.” Under oath in 1982, when asked by Assistant D.A. Joe McGil what the police did with the man who was sitting on the curb next to the dead Officer. Mr.

Magelton responded that they handcuffed Jamal and put him in the wagon. One of the officers on the scene then took Mr. Magelton over to the wagon and asked him if this was the gentleman that he had seen coming across the street. Mr. Magelton confirmed his story under oath and there is no evidense that the defense of Mr.

Jamal has ever challenged his testimony. Mr Robert Harkins was another cab driver placed immediately across the street from the crime scene. Like Mr. Chobert, Mr. Harkins was very close to the actual shooting and witnessed the entire crime.

Mr. Harkins gave a statement to the officers on the scene confirming the prosecutions theory. In his statement from 1981, Mr Harkins said that, ” I looked over and observed a police officer grab a guy, the guy spun around and the officer went to the ground. He had his hands on the ground and then rolled over at this point and the male who was standing over the officer pointed a gun at the officer and fired one shot and then he fired a second shot. At this time the officer moved a little and then went flat to the ground.

I heard a total of three shots and saw what appeared to be three flashes from the gun of the man standing over the officer.” Despite this fact, Mr. Harkins is in the unique position of having neither the defense nor prosecution call him to testify at the 1982 trial. However, Mr. Harkins was asked by the defense to testify at the 1995 appeal trial. Mr. Harkins stated under oath during the 1995 trial that he had been repeatedly harassed by Mr.

Jamals investigators between 1990 and July of 1995. He went on to say, that “there were many people that came around, many different people that would go to my place of work, and then call me at my home. Each time Mr. Harkins refused to talk to the defense team.” Finally after thirteen years of keeping his silence, Mr. Harkins finally sucummed to the defenses pressure and agreed to give a statement to one of Mr.

Jamals investigators. After he gave his statement the defense team continued to contact him. Under oath in the 1995 trial, Mr. Harkins explained that ” each time I would say something to the defense, they would come back with something different than what I said. I dont like that.” Regarding the witnesses of this trial, it is clear that four prosecution witnesses: Scanlon, White, Chobert, and Magelton, all gave virtually the exact same testimony.

Furthermore, the man that defense witness Harkins describes as having shot Officer Faulkner and then sat down on the curb, who was later apprehended by police was Munia Abu-Jamal. Witness credability is a major factor in this case. There are four eyewitnesses for the defense that claim there was a third person at the scene of the crime or a passenger in the Volkswagen? Pamela Jenkins Cynthia White was a key witness for the prosecution, due to the fact that she was the only witness who testified to seeing Jamal with a gun in his hands. No other witness claims to have seen Jamal with a gun. It should also be noted Cynthia White has disappeared and can not be found by the defense. No other witness the morning of the shooting can recall seeing her that morning. It seems that only the prosecution and the Philadelphia police now of Cynthia Whites exact whereabouts.

Following Jamals conviction, Ms. White continued to work the streets under police protection. She was arrested many times after the trial and all charges were dismissed, or a plea bargain was worked out. Pamela Jenkins recently came forward for the defense. Apparently, Ms. Jenkins was working as a prostitute that night and knew Cynthia White very well. Ms.

Jenkins also knew a number of Philadelphia police officrs at the time and was dating Officer Thomas Ryan. Ms. Jenkins has provided a sworn statement that Officer Ryan asked her to testify against Jamal and to falsely identify Mumia as the shooter, in spite of the fact she wasnt even present during the shooting. Her statement went on to say that Officer Ryan paid her $150 to help Ms. White and that the police put pressure on Ms. White to lie at the Mumia trial.

Is Ms. Jenkins testimony and statement credible after all these years? It appears the government has used Ms. Jenkins as a star witness in a police corruption case in Philadelphia. At that trial, Ms. Jenkins revealed how the Philadelphia police used her to provide fraudulent evidence to obtain a murder conviction against Raymond Carter.

Ms. Jenkins testified that Officer Thomas Ryan paid her $500 to testify against Carter.