Jamil Al-Amin convicted in sham trial
By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor | March 15, 2002 | Page 2
JAMIL ABDULLAH Al-Amin, the former 1960s Black Power leader then known as H. Rap Brown, was found guilty last week of shooting one Atlanta cop to death and injuring another. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
But their strategy at the sentencing hearing--of using Al-Amin's militant writings and speeches from the 1960s--shows that he was put on trial for being a revolutionary. Al-Amin's trial was a sham in which he never stood a chance at real justice.
While prosecutors mocked Al-Amin's allegations of conspiracy against him, the fact remains that the FBI has compiled a 44,000-page file on him over the last 35 years. And Atlanta cops have tried to pin literally dozens of shootings on Al-Amin, who is now a Muslim cleric and respected community activist.
In the shooting of the two officers, there was no physical evidence implicating Al-Amin. The case against him was based solely on the testimony of the surviving cop. This officer, Aldranon English, changed his story about the shooting four times, giving different descriptions of the attacker in each case.
English said that he and his partner--who were serving a subpoena on Al-Amin--shot their assailant. But when Al-Amin was captured, he wasn't injured.
English also admitted that when police came to show him a photo lineup the next day, he was asked if he knew Al-Amin before he was shown any pictures--a classic example of police coaching a witness, according to defense lawyers.
Al-Amin's attorneys presented several witnesses to the shooting, including an eyewitness who swore that Al-Amin wasn't the killer. But a biased judge--who forbid the playing of 911 tapes that showed that the shooter had been shot--helped prosecutors get their way.
This case is rotten to the core. And now the state wants to give Al-Amin the death penalty. Activists have to organize to demand freedom for Jamil Al-Amin.