Author Daniel Flynn told about 50 GW students the case of convicted murderer of a police officer Mumia Abu-Jamal is not an example of racial profiling, as many Abu-Jamal supporters believe.
The GW Second Amendment Club sponsored the speaker, author of Copkiller: How Mumia Abu-Jamal Conned Millions Into Believing He Was Framed.
Since 1982, Mumia has spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement on death row writing articles and books about his many mistrials and speaking live from prison talk radio shows.
According to the Web sites Freemumia.org and Danielfaulkner.com, both sides agree on details of police officer Daniel Faulkner’s death. In 1981, police officer Faulkner, stationed in a “red-light” area of Philadelphia pulled over William Cook for driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Prior to leaving the police vehicle, Faulkner called for backup. When Faulkner arrived at the side of William Cook’s vehicle, he was attacked by the driver but was able to strike Cook with his flashlight and subdue him temporarily.
Cook’s brother, Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, had been sitting in his taxi cab across the street, having just let a customer out. While Faulkner continued to subdue Cook, Abu-Jamal fired one shot into Faulkner’s back with a .38-caliber gun. As he fell to the ground, records show that Faulkner shot back at Mumia, wounding him in the upper stomach, but the policeman ultimately died when Mumia shot him between his eyes.
Flynn, the executive director of Accuracy and Academia, gave students details that supported Mumia’s guilt.
“Ideological interests are getting in the way of the truth,” Flynn said. “I want to get to the truth.”
He said Black Panthers have specifically targeted policemen, and that the FBI does not specifically target Black Panthers.
Many students said they disagreed with Flynn’s comments. The group of students – not all members of the Second Amendment Club – were mostly Mumia supporters.
Second Amendment Club President Jon Lightfoot said he is “open to hearing the sides from all perspectives.”
Junior Sam McCree called the discussion “hugely controversial.”
Doctoral student Thomas E. Davy described himself as a “complete non-expert” on the case. He agreed with some of what Flynn had to say, mostly regarding whether Faulkner had needed backup on the night of the incident.
“People committed heinous crimes for little or no reason, and (Faulkner) validated it with his life,” Davy said.
Lightfoot began the Second Amendment group last year, after reading a Hatchet article highlighting GW students’ pro-gun control support.
Lightfoot said he feels that gun control “needs to be common sense, logical . it needs to work.”
In short, the club advocates “good citizens” having the ability to own firearms, but “we don’t want criminals to possess firearms. You must always assume any gun is loaded.”
Lightfoot stressed “responsibility” as the key to gun control.