Mumia Abu-Jamal remains on death row in Pennsylvania. The widow of slain police officer Daniel Faulkner has been used to push for the execution of Jamal despite his unfair trial.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
Please feel free to distribute the following article. I feel that it is very important for people working towards justice for Mumia to continually expose the Fraternal Order of Police. They are a major force working against us and we must take them head on.
The FOP’s Misuse of a Widow
By Kevin Price
The mainstream media attempts to portray Maureen Faulkner, widow of the deceased police officer Daniel Faulkner, as almost single handedly leading the efforts to push for the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. This is quite a deliberate and deceptive misrepresentation. The recent coverage regarding the 25th anniversary of 12/9/81 (when Faulkner was murdered and Mumia was shot and arrested) was thick with this projection. In article after article it appears that Maureen is a widow on a mission, almost a lone soldier. One woman taking on a massively powerful movement. It is as if her fight to have Mumia killed is a grassroots struggle and she is up against all odds to accomplish her goal.
However, reality is much different. The Fraternal Order of Police are truly running the campaign to lynch Mumia. The FOP have the support of the courts, the DA’s office and the politicians. And those they do not have the support of they will intimidate and terrorize into silence. When representatives of the FOP speak they have a much harder time covering their ignorance and racism. The FOP needs Maureen as a front person to appeal to people‘s sympathies. And this is not to say that a widow or family member of a murder victim does not deserve sympathy. This is to say that the FOP does not give a damn about Maureen Faulkner. They are misusing her out of their lust to kill Mumia.
The whole idea that Maureen is pushing this campaign on her own is quite absurd when you look at the events she sponsors. The December 8th, 2006 luncheon thrown for bloodthirsty DA Lynne Abraham is a prime example. These events are a virtual who’s who of upper class conservatives from every facet of society. DA’s, journalists, politicians and police lobbyists all coming together to ensure the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
At one time the FOP used its own representatives to publicly advocate for Mumia’s execution. The last time that I remember seeing a representative of the FOP do a public debate about Mumia’s case was on Fox’s “Good Day” on December 9th of 1999 (for a DVD copy email ICFFMAJ@aol.com). During a debate between the International Concerned family and friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal chairwoman Pam Africa and then FOP President Rich Costello, Costello was humiliated. He became repeatedly flustered and showed his anger in ways that were less than appealing to the television audience. At one point Costello, face bright red and composure lost, went on a rant about how the “Rage Against the Machine” song “Bullet in the Head” was hate music advocating the murder of police officers. Anyone who has heard the lyrics to this song can see that this is a ridiculous. A quick read of the lyrics explains that the song is about the dangers of mass consumerism. Watching this interview clarifies why the FOP keeps Maureen’s face public while they pull strings and intimidate people behind the scenes.
Keep in mind that fourteen Philadelphia police officers have been murdered with fire arms since December 9th of 1981. How many of their names do you know? Do you know any? How many of the widow’s names do you know? Of those unknown widows how many of them have been given book deals (as Maureen has, her book will be out shortly)? How many police officers in Philly have had a street named after them other than Faulkner….None! The point is that this in not about Daniel Faulkner. It is not about Maureen Faulkner. It is about these people wanting Mumia Abu-Jamal dead.
The 1998 “20/20” hit piece on Mumia is a perfect example of this imagery of Maureen Faulkner as a single woman on a crusade. This piece of snuff journalism has already been thoroughly discredited so I will not waste more space here (for more info on this go to http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jul1999/maj-j16.shtml). What is interesting is that Maureen Faulkner is mentioned and interviewed more than anyone else dealing with the campaign for Mumia‘s execution yet the FOP are not mentioned once in the segment. It is clear that from the start ABC set out to promote the FOP agenda. In a letter to the PA prison administration ABC stated, “We are currently working with Maureen Faulkner and the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of the Police.” The question begs to be asked, why did ABC intentionally omit the existence of the FOP and instead focus solely on Maureen Faulkner?
In almost all of the recent articles it was mentioned that Maureen has never remarried. That leads me to ask…What does that have to do with anything? Yes, it is quite unfortunate for her but what does it really have to do with the issue. They certainly have never mentioned that Mumia’s wife has never remarried. That his wife has not even been able to so much as touch him in 25 years. That no one has been able to even touch him in 25 years, except for prison guards.
I also think about the racial aspect of the situation. A white police officer named Daniel Faulkner is murdered. A black man named Mumia Abu-Jamal is convicted of his murder and sentenced to death. The officers blond haired, blue eyed wife is left to campaign for the execution of the man convicted of her husband’s murder. Now, if the police officer was a black man and the man convicted of his murder was white do you honestly think that the Fraternal Order of Police would be rallying full force behind a black widow? Think about it for a moment… honestly. Keep in mind that Peter Wirs, Chairman of Philadelphia's 59th Republican Ward Executive Committee and friend of the FOP, just stated that even if Judge Sabo did say “Yeah, and I’m gonna help em fry the nigger” that he does not have a problem with that (to hear or read the interview go to
http://insubordination.blogspot.com/2006/11/radio-interview-is-honoring-mumia_30.html). Do you think that these people would really be rallying so hard for the execution of a white man? I do not. The bottom line is that they want Mumia dead. The same hatred that is driving them now is the same hatred that led them to drop a bomb on MOVE in 1985 and fire automatic weapons at men, women and children trying to flee their burning home.
At the demonstration this passed December 9th I overheard one Philadelphia cop say to another “If we would have killed them all in ‘85 we wouldn’t have to deal with this shit now.” That is the mentality we are dealing with and a PR campaign or a new book written by Maureen Faulkner cannot change that. These people are racist terrorists and that is the only way we should look at them. The FOP are the goons who are supplying a lot of pressure to keep Mumia in prison. We as a movement must expose them until they can no longer hide behind the sympathy invoking façade of Maureen Faulkner to carry out their hateful death wish.