In December of 1981, twenty-five year old Officer Daniel Faulkner was conducting a routine traffic stop when Wesley Cookalso known as, Mumia Abu-Jamalshot him in the back. He then stood over Officer Faulkner and shot him several more times in the chest. As Officer Faulkner lay dying in the street, defenseless, Abu-Jamal shot him in the face, killing him. At the hospital, Abu-Jamal bragged that he had shot Officer Faulkner and expressed his hope that he would die.
At trial, he was remorseless. He turned the trial into political theater, interrupting the proceedings, insulting the judge, and even smirking at Officer Faulkners widow when his blood-stained shirt was held up in court as evidence.
Four eyewitnesses saw Abu-Jamal gun down Officer Faulkner. Three more witnesses at the hospital heard him confess to the crime. Ballistics evidence proved that Officer Faulkner had been shot with a handgun that was registered to Abu-Jamal, which was found at the scene of the murder, along with shell casings.
Based on overwhelming evidence, Abu-Jamal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. What followed was a thirty year effort by the far-left to glorify Abu-Jamal and to exonerate him. This effort was taken up by law professors, left-wing activists, and in 2009, by the organization which the nominee before us led for several years, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
When the LDF became Abu Jamals co-counsel in 2011, its press release called him a symbol of racial injustice. It said Abu-Jamals conviction and death sentence are relics of a time and place that was notorious for police abuse and racial discrimination. An LDF lawyer attended rallies for Abu-Jamal. She said it was absolutely an honor to represent him; and that doing so was her pleasure. And she said, There is no question in the mind of anyone at the Legal Defense Fund that the justice system has completely and utterly failed Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This demagoguery of the murder of a defenseless police officer has shocked and offended law enforcement officers from across the country.
The current District Attorney of Philadelphia, Seth Williams, wrote the Judiciary Committee last month to oppose the nominees confirmation. He wrote: Apart from being patently false, moreover, these claims are personally insulting to me. As an African-American, I know all too well the grievous consequences of racial discrimination and prejudice. I also know that Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced because of the evidence, not because of his race. And I have continued to fight for the jurys verdict because it was the just result.