Justice: The widow of a slain police officer wants to know why the California Federation of Teachers has taken up the cause of the man convicted of murdering her husband in cold blood. Hey, they teach your children.
Former Black Panthers member Mumia Abu-Jamal has been a poster child for the loony left ever since he murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in cold blood during a routine traffic stop on Dec. 19, 1981.
Officer Faulkner, 12 days from his 26th birthday, spotted a car driving the wrong way down a one-way street with its lights off. He pulled over the driver, one William Cook, who got out of the car and began tussling with Faulkner.
Moments later, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cook's brother (formerly Wesley Cook), arrived on the scene with a .38-caliber handgun and opened fire, hitting Faulkner, according to eyewitnesses, in the back.
Faulkner returned fire, wounding his assailant, who got off several more shots, including the one that hit Faulkner in the face at point-blank range, killing him.
Police found Faulkner fatally wounded and Abu-Jamal with a bullet wound in his chest and his gun and five spent shell casings sitting just a few feet away. Four eyewitnesses testified at his trial.
A jury sentenced him to death. The bullet in Abu-Jamal came from Faulkner's gun. The bullets in Faulkner came from Abu-Jamal's weapon.
Faulkner's widow, Maureen, wants to know why the California Federation of Teachers, which should have better things to do, passed a resolution at its recent annual convention praising Abu-Jamal as a budding journalist who was a victim of a racist judicial system despite two trials and a conviction based on overwhelming physical evidence, eyewitness testimony and even a confession.
In a post on the Ventura County Star website, Mrs. Faulkner remembers Abu-Jamal, who, "when taken to a hospital after he slaughtered my husband, to remove a bullet shot in self-defense from my husband's gun, said in front of two witnesses, 'I shot the (blank) and I hope the (blank) dies.'"
The CFT views the case somewhat differently.
According to its resolution, Abu-Jamal is a civil-rights hero who should be exonerated by "new evidence" at a new trial.
"Mumia Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial in Philadelphia was characterized by illegal suppression of evidence, police coercion, illegal exclusion of black jurors and unfair and unconstitutional rulings by the judge," the CFT resolution reads.
Never mind that Abu-Jamal, representing himself in court, participated in the selection of his own jury, which wound up having three black jurors. The one black juror who was excluded was dismissed because the juror had expressed an open disdain for Abu-Jamal.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction in 1995, and in 1998 it refused to grant his request for a new trial.
In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Abu-Jamal's appeal. In December 2001, a federal judge overturned his death sentence but upheld his conviction.
The mindset that believes Abu-Jamal is an innocent victim of racism is not all that different from the mindset of Wisconsin teachers who refused to abide by the results of an American election and engaged in thuggish street theater to thwart the challenge to their privileged status.
Unions are good. Real democracy is bad.
Facts are subservient to ideology. Abu-Jamal supported environmentalism and Marxism. He supported the abolition of prisons and, of course, opposed the death penalty. He opposed capitalism and supported the redistribution of wealth.
The logic is, hey, he's one of us so he must be innocent.
The question for the CFT is why is it supporting a convicted cop-killer who is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, and why now, three decades after his crime?If this is the mindset of a majority of the rank and file, what kind of skewed teaching about America and its judicial system must be going on in our classrooms