Colin Kaepernick again is stating his case. This time, he’s vouching for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is serving a life sentence in prison for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
Last month, Kaepernick, in a video statement, announced: “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. And the causes that he sacrificed his life and freedom for must matter as well.”
Kaepernick is the former NFL quarterback who became a household name in 2016 for leading the “Kneeling Movement.” He began kneeling during the national anthem on the sidelines of NFL games to protest social injustices against black folk.
Now, instead of throwing passes on Sunday afternoons, Kaepernick is the expressed poster guy for his label of today: Social Justice Warrior.
But some observers believe Kaepernick is a misguided SJW in the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case.
Chief among them is Michael Smerconish, an attorney by trade who hosts a radio show in Philadelphia and anchors an eponymous television show on CNN on Saturday mornings.
Smerconish has the book on Abu-Jamal. Literally.
Smerconish wrote “Murdered by Mumia” 12 years ago with Maureen Faulkner, wife of Daniel Faulkner, the white police officer whom Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing.
In a CliffsNotes version of the incident, Faulkner pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother around 4 a.m. for driving the wrong way on a Philadelphia street. Abu-Jamal, then a taxi driver, witnessed the scene.
Abu-Jamal was accused of shooting Faulkner in the back. Before Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner between the eyes, Faulkner managed to shoot Abu-Jamal in the abdomen.
Kaepernick, in his statement video, added, “He had no record before he was arrested and framed… Since 1981, Mumia has maintained his innocence. His story has not changed. Mumia was shot, brutalized, arrested and chained to a hospital bed.
“He’s a grandfather; he’s an elder with ailments.”
But according to Smerconish, four eyewitnesses testified that Abu-Jamal indeed was the shooter; the ballistics report revealed that the bullets found in Abu-Jamal’s gun matched the bullet removed from Faulkner’s brain; and there were ear witnesses to Abu-Jamal’s words.
As Smerconish summarized on his show: “Both men were taken to a local E.R. Faulkner was pronounced dead. Abu-Jamal was heard by witnesses, including a security guard, to say, ‘I shot the m-f-er and I hope the m-f-er dies.’ So, the case had eyewitnesses, a ballistic match and a confession.”
Abu-Jamal has become sort of an international cause celebre, as Hollywood types, street activists, entertainers, academicians, inexplicably, have come to his defense.
If Black lives truly mattered, which national celebrity speaks on behalf of Carmelo Duncan, a one-year-old child gunned down in Washington last week?
At least 10 bullets pierced a car in which Duncan’s father was driving; Carmelo’s father and brother survived unharmed. Police ruled the Duncan murder as a targeted shooting here in the nation’s capital, where homicides are up 20 percent over last year and the murder rate is at a 15-year high.
That’s why Tio Hardiman, a community activist and director of the Violence Interrupters pro-safety group in Chicago, advocates an unconventional solution: body armor.
“If we cannot protect our young people, they need to wear bulletproof vests,” Hardiman told InsideSources. “With the COVID-19 virus going on, we’re wearing masks and face shields and using hand sanitizer. We need to wear bulletproof vests, too, nationwide. We need to strap our babies into bulletproof car seats.”
The Windy City has experienced more than an astounding 700 homicides in 2020, mostly young Black males — not cops — killing other young Black males.
Just five years ago, a study by founder Nate Silver’s “FiveThirtyEight” analytics site revealed that Black Americans are nearly eight times as likely as whites to be victims of homicide.
Silver wrote: “There’s no other highly industrialized country with a homicide death rate similar to the one Black Americans experience. Their homicide death rate, 19.4 per 100,000 persons, is about 12 times higher than the average rate among all people in other developed countries.”
Which means black people are killed in the United States at a rate similar to Brazil (23.6), Rwanda (23.1), Mexico (22), Nigeria (20.0) or Myanmar (15.2).
A final thought: Because police weren’t involved in little Carmelo’s death, the celebrity activist crew, such as Kaepernick and others, apparently doesn’t have much stake in such tragedies.