Kaepernick publicly expressed help of the discharge of Mumia Abu-Jamal at a digital convention this week. Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. He has served 38 years of a life sentence at a southwest Philadelphia jail to this point.
“When I was invited to speak on behalf of Mumia, one of the first things that came to mind was has been how long he’s been in prison,” Kaepernick stated on the convention. “How many years of his life has been stolen away from him, his community and his loved ones? Mumia has been in prison longer than I’ve been alive.”
Kaepernick quotes Abu-Jamal’s personal writing, describing his sentence as a “second by second assault on his soul.” He referenced the Black Lives Matter motion throughout his speech.
“Today we’re living through a moment where it’s acceptable to paint ‘end racism now’ in front of the Philadelphia Police Department’s 26th district headquarters, and yet a political prisoner who has since the age of 14 dedicated his life to fighting against racism, continues to be caged and lives his life on a slow death row,” Kaepernick stated. “We’re in the midst of a movement that says Black Lives Matter. And if that’s truly the case, then it means that Mumia’s life and legacy must matter.”
Other audio system on the convention included Angela Davis and Linn Washington Jr.
Who is Mumia Abu-Jamal?
Abu-Jamal, previously often called Wesley Cook, was convicted of capturing police officer Daniel Faulkner after Faulkner had reportedly pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother throughout a late-night visitors cease in 1981.
Abu-Jamal and his supporters have maintained his innocence because the conviction, stating that procedural errors, a scarcity of Black jurors and racism all contributed to his sentencing. During the convention, Kaepernick stated that Abu-Jamal had been “framed.”
“Since 1981, Mumia has maintained his innocence,” Kaepernick stated. “His story has not changed. Mumia was shot, brutalized, arrested and chained to a hospital bed. The first police officer assigned to him wrote in a report that ‘The Negro male made no comment,’ as cited in Philadelphia magazine. Yet 64 days into the investigation, another officer testified that Mumia had confessed to the killing.”
However, the authorities are simply as assured that Abu-Jamal is responsible.
“There has never been a doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner, and I believe the appropriate sentence was handed down in 1982,” a prosecutor informed CNN in 2011.
Since his conviction, Abu-Jamal has written quite a few books, essays and was the topic of a number of documentaries. He can also be a correspondent for PrisonRadio.org and was invited to talk to a graduating class on the Goddard College in Vermont in 2014.
“It’s a disgrace that you have to even hear his voice. My husband has been dead for 32 years and his voice was taken from him by Abu-Jamal,” widow Maureen Faulkner informed CNN in a telephone interview in 2014.
A devoted Facebook web page for Faulkner, with over 17,000 followers, additionally criticized Kaepernick for his feedback.
“The video shows Kaepernick truly has no knowledge on the true facts and evidence of his conviction,” the publish reads. “The ignorance of Kaepernick is a disgrace.”