HARRISBURG, PA- In case you haven’t heard, Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner places a high value on progressive social justice. So much so that he seemingly would rather set criminals free than get any actual justice for real victims.
One police widow in Harrisburg is fighting back.
In 1981, Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot to death by Mumia Abu-Jamal during a traffic stop.
Abu-Jamal is now 65-years-old, serving a life sentence at the State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy. He was previously sentenced to death, but that was overturned.
Officer Faulkner’s widow, Maureen, is appealing the overturning of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence.
Additionally, she requested in November that the attorney general’s office take over the appeals and remove Larry Krasner from the case due to his “conflict of interest.”
NEW: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will appoint a special investigator to look into how the Mumia Abu-Jamal case is being handled by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. https://t.co/jBpXAUyKOx
— KYW Newsradio (@KYWNewsradio) February 24, 2020
The conflict of interest, of course, is that Krasner would arguably prefer criminals like Abu-Jamal to walk free rather than seek justice for victims like Officer Faulkner and his family.
This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that it will appoint a “special master” to the case, as well as freeze all proceedings while the master investigates Krasner’s conflict of interest.
In a statement Monday, Faulkner’s lawyer, George Bochetto, said that the court-appointed special master should investigate Krasner’s previous involvement with Abu-Jamal.
Specifically, Bochetto said that actions by Krasner and others in his office “in support of protestors seeking Jamal’s freedom” should be investigated, in addition to one case where Krasner represented Abu-Jamal.
In the request to dismiss Krasner from the case in November, Bochetto wrote:
“Indeed, since both Krasner and Jamal are apparently satisfied to march side-by-side through the legal proceedings while ignoring the current conflicted representation and the numerous appearances of impropriety, the ethical crisis may never be judicially addressed unless this court acts.”
Good. Larry Krasner is a lowlife scumbag. He treats this radical extremist like he’s some sort of hero when he point blank assassinated a cop for wearing a badge. Maureen Faulkner has been treated like total shit from @PhillyMayor and he’s dancing partner Larry Krasner. https://t.co/RaLYnUMk3N
— Captain Donald Cragen (@DonaldCragen) February 25, 2020
Bochetto continued to say that “obvious conflicts of interest” in Krasner’s office “have gone unaddressed.”
When the request was granted, Bochetto said:
“We’re thrilled. There’s going to be boots on the ground in Philadelphia” to investigate Krasner’s office and conflicts within it.”
This move by the PA Supreme Court is called King’s Bench Power, which is based on English common law.
It’s rarely used, but when it is, the Supreme Court sees a case that’s currently in the lower court to address issues of “immediate public importance.”
Bochetto said the move was “very significant and unusual.” He said it shows that the courts want to hear from neutral parties in the case.
Bochetto expects the master to be appointed in the next few days and for the person designated to be one “with significant prosecutorial experience.”
Maureen Faulkner and her attorneys have alleged for some time that the conflict of interest goes back to when Krasner was one of the “movement attorneys” defending protesters who were arrested in 2000. The arrests were during the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and were for assaults on police as well as vandalism.
At the time, protesters were showing support for Abu-Jamal, calling for his freedom from prison.
To this, Faulkner’s attorneys wrote:
“Krasner was an attorney and lead strategist on a legal team organized by a legal association on which Mumia Abu-Jamal is an active board member and which is dedicated to freeing Jamal.”
The board they’re referring to is the National Lawyer’s Guild. Abu-Jamal is listed on the website as the Jailhouse Lawyer VP.
According to the site:
“The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association. The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system.
Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.”
Abu-Jamal’s page, linked on the NLG’s page, is called “Free Mumia.” Here, Abu-Jamal, a Black Panther member, declares “Mumia is innocent.” While on the website, you can get newsletters to keep up with Abu-Jamal’s case, find out where and when you can participate in a protest demanding Abu-Jamal be released from prison, sign petitions, and so much more.
One gem you can view there is a flyer encouraging people to “Pack the courtroom & fill the streets for Mumia.”
On it, there is also a call to:
“Cancel new repressive DOC rules; Abolish death by incarceration; Shut down Berks [Berks County Family Detention Center- which is a detention center for immigrant families]; Release Juvenile Prisoners; Jail killer cops; End mass incarceration; Free the Move 9, Mumia, and all other political prisoners.”
See the second half of this article for more on Move 9.
Should you so choose, while on Abu-Jamal’s website, you can also copy and paste a letter to send to DA Krasner which says, in part:
“You were elected on your claims of being a ‘progressive DA’ and that you would ‘end mass incarceration.’ You stated that you would investigate and overturn wrongful convictions.
However, in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal you have to date shown yourself to be in tandem with the Fraternal Order of Police. This is despite the history of the evidence of Mumia’s innocence and the police, prosecution, and judicial misconduct that permeates his case.”
Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby released a statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling.
In part, it said:
“We are happy to learn that the PA State Supreme Court has granted a King’s Bench Petition sought by Maureen Faulkner. This is the first step to remove DA Krasner from this most-important case for Maureen Faulkner, Danny’s family and our supporting officers.”
Mentioned above, here is a story we brought to you in January regarding Move9:
After 42 years in prison for his part in the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp, Delbert Orr Africa has been released.
Delbert, now 73-years-old, was arrested after Officer Ramp’s 1978 murder, along with eight of his fellow commune members in the anti-government, black liberation cult called MOVE. The nine members were each charged with 3rd degree murder.
Of the nine, there were five males and four females.
Delbert was the second to last member remaining in prison; all but one of the others have either died in prison or been released on parole.
The last member, Chuck, is said to have an upcoming parole hearing. The cult members had changed their last names to Africa to show their “family” unity.
Delbert and other members of MOVE engaged in a shooting stand off with police, which in addition to Officer Ramp’s death also resulted in the injuries of four other police officers, five firefighters, and three civilian bystanders.
The MOVE members arrested for the officer’s death claim that he was hit by a “stray bullet” during the shootout. They later alleged that the bullet was sent by friendly fire, and that they were “unarmed” during the shooting standoff. The cult also said they were being harassed by police for two years prior to the incident.
The “harassment” likely stemmed from the many, many complaints against the cult.
In 1977, then-Mayor Frank Rizzo had been complaining of MOVE being a nuisance. He was particularly unhappy with their health code violations and weapons violations. The group “clashed” with police for about 15 months before the shootout that killed Officer Ramp.
Neighbors had reportedly complained about the cult constantly, due in part to the 48 stray dogs kept in the house. Apparently the cult was not only fighting for black rights, but also for animals’.
Police arrived at the cult commune the day of Officer Ramp’s death in order to evict them for the above violations.
After the nine arrests, the rest of the MOVE group relocated to a different part of Philadelphia, where they continued their disruption and violence. The group was eventually designated as a domestic terrorist organization.
In May of 2019, two female MOVE members charged with 3rd degree murder in Officer Ramp’s death were also released from prison after serving their 40-year sentences. Janine Phillips Africa and Janet Holloway Africa, released at 63 and 68-years-old, respectively, are the two surviving females of the four females arrested in the incident. The other two reportedly died in prison.
Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said,
“When days like this happen, our hearts ache for our fallen hero James Ramp and his family as they’re re-victimized every time a MOVE member is released from custody. We will never forget James Ramp and the other victims.”
Officer Ramp was a 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and served in the US Marine Corps prior to that. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Officer Ramp survived combat in both WWII and the Korean War.
Upon his release, Delbert’s attorney, Brad Thomson, posted a photograph on Twitter. On the left side of the picture is a black and white news photo from 1978, where Delbert’s arms are extended during a confrontation with police. On the right side is the current photo of Delbert, in color, with his arms extended out in the same pose. The caption reads, “Delbert Africa of the #MOVE9 is free!”
On the same day, Thomson posted:
“On August 8, 1978, Philadelphia police beat Delbert and it was caught on film. Today, Delbert walked out of the prison gates as a free man.”
After 42 years in prison, MOVE member Delbert Orr Africa wins his release https://t.co/0FDIATX4HY
— Ori (@orisanmi) January 19, 2020
Of course, there are many reports on interviews from the Africa “family” claiming police brutality. Police are racist, anyone who thinks otherwise is racist. That sort of thing.
Apparently, Delbert’s daughter, Yvonne Orr, is capitalizing on his release to make money. She has started a GoFundMe account to raise $15,000.
“I have to have some major things in place in order to ensure he’s re-acclimated (e.g. health insurance, housing, etc),” Yvonne wrote.
“I would greatly appreciate your financial support by donating to my GoFundMe campaign for my father. Delbert Orr Africa is now 73 years old, having served nearly 42 years for a crime none of the Move 9 committed.
Please help me get him resettled into his ‘new’ world. Thank you in advance for your consideration!”
At the time of the original writing, almost $13,000 had been raised by 177 bleeding-heart, gullible donors.
One donor gave $20 and commented, “I feel that they was doing something positive and was wrong fully convicted.”
Another gave $25 and said, “Thank you for your strength, your survival, your love.”
I’m not sure where the “love” came from, but I’m willing to bet that Officer Ramp’s family would disagree on that score.
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