Friday, December 9, 2011

George's Greatest Hits: "Death, not concerts, for cop killer" (originally published in the New York Daily News, Monday, February 1, 1999)

Introduction:  Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered 30 years ago today; his murderer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is still inhaling and exhaling, and will continue to do so.

Two days ago, the Philly district attorney announced that, after a decades-long court battle, they were giving up on efforts to impose the death penalty on the killer, who will now spend life in prison without parole.  The left, which had adopted Abu-Jamal as a pet, and has a stranglehold on the American judicial system, was able to thwart his well-deserved execution through repeated appeals, and finally ran out the clock.

This piece was originally published in the New York Daily News on Monday, February 1, 1999, and gives a good overview of the crime and the case up to that point.  I called for Abu-Jamal's immediate execution, but, if you can believe it, they didn't listen to me.

-George Molé

Death, not concerts, for cop killer

by George Molé

New York Daily News
Monday, February 1, 1999 

The life of Philadelphia cop Daniel Faulkner, who had a bullet in his back, was running from his body onto the pavement.  But not fast enough for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

As Faulkner writhed on the ground, perhaps in pain, perhaps trying to avoid the shots, Abu-Jamal stood over him and fired several more times, then put his gun to the dying cop's face and put a final bullet into his brain. 

That moment made Faulkner's wife, Maureen, a widow.  And it made Abu-Jamal, once known as Wesley Cook--a cab driver and former Black Panther propagandist--a celebrity.

Faulkner was on patrol about 4 a.m. on Dec. 9, 1981, when he saw a car going the wrong way on a one-way street.  When he pulled the car over, the driver, William Cook, punched him in the face and began scuffling with him.  While Faulkner was thus distracted, Abu-Jamal--Cook's brother--appeared from across the street, ran over with a gun in his hand and shot the cop in the back.

Faulkner was able to pull his gun and shoot Abu-Jamal once in the chest before collapsing.  But Abu-Jamal had the strength to finish executing Faulkner before himself collapsing a few feet away, where he was found and arrested.

Abu-Jamal has never explained why he happened to be across the street at the very time his brother was being stopped for a traffic violation.  But the setup was typical of the ambushes long favored by violent radicals: One perp baits a cop into the open by committing some blatant infraction while a gunman lurks nearby, waiting to strike.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to death.  But a tortuous series of appeals dragged on until last fall, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a bid for a new trial.  Now only a federal appeal stands between Abu-Jamal and his execution.

Meanwhile--in a phenomenon once satirized by Tom Wolfe in his book "Radical Chic"--Abu-Jamal has become the pet of many liberal celebrities, including actors Ed Asner, Mike Farrell and Whoopi Goldberg and author E.L. Doctorow.

It gets worse.  On Thursday, a concert was staged at the Meadowlands to benefit Abu-Jamal's defense.  And Feb. 13, a "Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal" conference will be held at City College of New York to "mobilize thousands for the 'Millions for Mumia' mass rally in Philadelphia on April 24."

Abu-Jamal's defenders pretend to believe that his trial was unfair and his conviction based on racial bias.  But consider:

  • Five witnesses saw Abu-Jamal shoot Faulkner. 
  • Abu-Jamal, wearing an empty shoulder holster, was found a few feet from the dead cop with the murder gun, which was registered to him, at his side.
  • As Abu-Jamal was brought into a hospital, he shouted, "I shot the m-----f-----, and I hope the m-----f----- dies."
I suspect it's Abu-Jamal's manifest guilt, not his supposed innocence, that inspires his defenders--there are those who see cop killing as admirable.  Or, in a less sinister interpretation, perhaps they don't care about the facts but simply oppose the death penalty.

But it's clear that in the arrogance of their wealth, Abu-Jamal's celebrity pals find no empathy for the working man, the family man, that was Faulkner.

Abu-Jamal has three children and three grandchildren.  But the children and grandchildren of Danny and Maureen Faulkner will never be born.

Abu-Jamal has published two books while in jail.  He was also to have done a series of commentaries on National Public Radio a few years ago, which only the outrage of the decent prevented.

But Faulkner will never write a letter to the editor or call a talk show.  We'll never know his thoughts about the impeachment of President Clinton or the signing of Latrell Sprewell.

It's time to carry out Abu-Jamal's sentence.  Pennsylvania's lethal chemicals or electric current will enter his body a lot more gently than his bullets entered Faulkner's.  The Hollywood left will find something else to posture about.

And perhaps, when Danny Faulkner finally gets his justice, we'll find that Mumia Abu-Jamal's name looks even better on a headstone than on a book jacket.

Molé is an NYPD lieutenant and a writer.

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At December 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Patti Fournier said...

George, thanks for sharing another great piece. It makes me angry to know, not only a horrible crime against a police officer has dragged on for more than 30 years; but more importantly, that this man has been glorified by "The Hollywood left".

At December 16, 2011 at 11:19 PM , Anonymous Samantha Hemmerich said...

Excellent George!

At December 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM , Anonymous Wayne Welsome said...

I read "Murdered By Mumia" by PO Faulkner's wife, Maureen. The most galling aspect of this entire case is the support that this cowardly, punk murderer garnered from willfully ignorant Hollywood idiots. Know nothing liberals who loudly bleated about the case without ever actually acquainting themselves with the court record or the undisputed, incontrovertible facts. Mumia should have been fast tracked to his date with death. Dithering and weak kneed judges ultimately doomed justice from prevailing and allowed the facts to be obfuscated by agenda driven opportunists.

At December 16, 2011 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Bob Ornitz said...

I read your piece, and it galls me and turns my stomach that garbage like that should be allowed to live. I'm a crime victim myself, but lucky that I was able to survive. The guys were convicted. Hope they learned their lesson. They're out by now. This happened in Feb. '92. Laws are too lax. Thanks for the piece....

At July 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words escape me, it's so horrible, it's hard to even fathom. What a great injustice. I am hoping he's not profiting from the proceeds of his books. But even if he isn't, the thought that someone would publish them and buy it, just makes me sick.


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