(en) Mumia reports

Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Sat, 28 Jun 1997 09:57:55 pst


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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 09:11:37 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Mumia reports

@@ Two items - of which one comes from French news agency MP.

================== By Jahfree I Kupendua <nattyreb@ix.netcom.com>

Friday, 27 June 1997

Despite the sweltering heat, it was stengthening today to see the hundreds that came out to support Mumia Abu-Jamal, who returned to Philadelphia from a western Pennsylvania dungeon to confront Hanging Judge Sabo one more time. There were hundreds occupying the west courtyard of City Hall as early as 9:30 a.m., and many more jammed the hallways of the Criminal Justice Center at Juniper and Filbert. The east coast was in full effect, with folks from Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina. Other national and International observers were there, and the combined effect was hotter than the weather.

Mumia has been amassing tremendous legal ammunition lately, and the overflowing crowd of supporters at his hearing recognized the need for relentless street work, to keep pressure on the system. Despite there being only 20 seats available for observers, the selection of those allowed in went relatively smoothly. Observers included Dr. Khallid Muhammad, Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango and his wife Lydia (Mumia's sister), and many others. Those remaining in the hallway eagerly followed the call to clear the hallways and head for Council President John Street's office for an impromptu demonstration there.

(Street received petitions and resolutions from an international group of Pan Afrikanists last month, and pressure is being applied to John Street to do what's right and introduce a resolution in the Philadelphia City Council supporting a new trial for Mumia.)

Pamela Jenkins took the witness stand before the hostile glare and grumblings of Judge Sabo, and the arrogant questioning of a Marsha Clark-like advocate for the Commonwealth. Based on her testimony, here is what we know about Pamela Jenkins:

* During the hearing, she was in the custody of the Phila. Prison System.

* She first met Officer Tomas Ryan when he was her truant officer in high school. She alleged he had sex with her when she was 15, which probablyconstitutes statutory rape.

* She was a prostitute working the streets in 1981 when Mumia was shot, and Officer Faulkner was killed. Though she wasn't at the scene of the shooting, Officer Thomas Ryan nevertheless tried to force her to testify against Mumia.

* She recalls a conversation with Lucky a.k.a. Cynthia White, after the Dec. 9, 1981 incident, and they talked about this police coercion, and Lucky stated that she was "scared" of the police pressure. Eventually Lucky told the lie the police had approved, and Jenkins did not.

* She also apparently considers White a "police informant" at the time of the incident, just like Jenkins' admits she was. If this is true, and since this fact was withheld from the defense, then the case should AUTOMATICALLY be sent back for a new trial!

* She revealed that Ryan had prevailed in using her as early as a year before the Dec. 9 incident, as one of their so-called "informants", that large pool of "street people" (prostitutes, drug dealers and addicts, etc.) that this and other police departments use to railroad people to jail. This system routinely uses false testimony by those most susceptible to coercion, and the lesson of the 39th District Scandal is that this practice is extremely widespread, and the only remedy is to immediately FREE the accused.

* Revealing she was addicted to crack cocaine since 1987. There was a marked increase in her false testimony for Ryan and others. She used the blood money passed on by Ryan, et al, to buy drugs and get high.

* She said that she originally was sought out by Mumia's lawyers while she was in jail. She gave and signed her statements while incarcerated.

* She says the government has retaliated against her for speaking up for Mumia, and because of her role as a Federal witness in the ongoing corruption scandal.

As for Sabo, I could almost see the old wrinkled gheezer getting younger on the bench, as if his Satanic Pact for eternal youth requires him to make arrogant outbursts and illegal rulings. His devilish eyes sparkled with a mischevious twinkle as he barked out "objection overruled" to all defense motions. He even lashed out at Marsha Clark's evil twin, just to get some extra pep, but concluded one tirade by allowing everything she asked for. By the lunchtime recess, it was clear that Sabo would not allow any of the defense's other witnesses, including police officers, to give testimony. "You guys go to the Supreme Court if you want to do that," he yelled at the defense. The prosecution, on the other hand, used the afternoon to present a parade of witnesses that supposedly were to negate Pamela Jenkins' testimony.

Pamela Jenkins had a surprisingly strong presence on the stand, considering the fact that she was in custody, and could not walk out of there as a Free Woman. She was arrested immediately after she came forward to tell the truth about Mumia, which she considers "retaliation". She confessed that she feels scared for her life, and for her family's welfare. Her young daughter lives in the 39th District; mom is forced to endure more time locked down. We raised over $1,500 cash outside during the break towards her bail, which is complicated by the fact that two states are trying to get money from her.

Most importantly, Pamela Jenkins stood strong. She not only upheld the information given in her earlier affidavit, but provided a new bombshell. Ms. Jenkins testified that on March 5 of this year, she not only ran into the missing witness Cynthia White, but saw White flee from her and hop into a pickup truck driven by former Philadelphia police officers known to her. This corroborates the contention of the defense that the Philly police have been hiding Cynthia White to prevent her being called to testify by Mumia's legal team. The prosecutors, amazingly enough, claimed they had proof that Cynthia White has been dead since 1992.

Pamela Jenkins is called an "admitted perjurer" by the local papers, who are taking the lead in trying to minimize the importance of this testimony. They don't tell you that her admitting to her misdeeds (lying under oath for crooked cops, or as they say, "perjury") have helped free hundreds of falsely convicted Philadelphians, and sent 4 cops to jail.

This hearing will continue on Monday.

*****

http://www.nando.net/newsroom/ntn/nation/062697/

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EVIDENCE SUGGESTS POLICE COERCED WITNESS AGAINST BLACK PANTHER _________________________________________________________________

June 26 1997 Agence France-Presse

PHILADELPHIA - A former police informant testified Thursday that police had threatened to kill a key witness in the 1982 trial in which a Black Panther member was sentenced to death.

The testimony was the first in the special hearing ordered for Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose case has drawn protests from around the world suggesting racial bias in the justice system. Abu-Jamal is on death row for the 1981 killing of a police officer.

Pamela Jenkins, a former prostitute and police informant, testified that police coerced her friend Cynthia White to testify in the 1982 trial that she saw Abu-Jamal holding a gun at the scene of the murder.

Abu-Jamal's defense lawyer said White had disappeared in March, and Jenking suggested police may have sought to prevent her from coming forward.

Jenkins, who was 15 at the time of the murder, also said that police tried to coerce her to testify against Abu Jamal. But Jenkins who was not at the scene, refused.

At the time, Jenkins was sleeping with a Philadelphia police office and working as a police informant. Jenkins said police threatened to kill White, also a prostitute, if White refused to testify against Jamal.

White, the only witness to testify during the trial that she saw Abu-Jamal with a gun at the scene, disappeared in March of this year, and Jenkins said the last time she saw her, White was with two Philadelphia police officers "and she looked as if she had just seen a ghost."

Although Jenkins said she belives police will retaliate against her for her testimony, she added, "They've done all they can do to me and I'm not going to sit by and watch this man be killed."

At a news conference in front of Philadelphia city hall after the hearing, Abu Jamal's lawyer Leonard Weinglass said, "Pamela is a firm link that shows police coerced prostitutes to make their case ... If we can find Cynthia and she takes the stand and acknowledges she was coerced, then this case is over."

Prosecution lawyers tried to show that Jenkins, who has perjured herself before, is not a reliable witness. She is currently in jail on unrelated charged.

Abu-Jamal, who was 27 at the time, was driving a taxi Dec. 9, 1981 when he saw policeman Daniel Faulkner in a scuffle with his brother, whom Faulkner had just pulled over for traffic violation.

According to the prosecution, the former Black Panther and radio journalist ran from his cab and shot Faulkner to death. Abu-Jamal had a gun with him when he was arrested, but ballistics tests linking his weapon to the killing were inconclusive.

During the appeal, the defense team claimed Abu-Jamal had been denied a fair trial because his lawyer was incompetent and the judge refused to admit key evidence. They claimed the policeman was shot by someone else, and that authorities pressured witnesses to testify against Abu-Jamal.

The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ordered the hearing as part of an appeal to Abu-Jamal's 1982 conviction.

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