Maureen Faulkner, the widow of murdered Philadelphia police office Daniel Faulker, will testify about President Obama's recent judicial nominee, Debo Adegbile, to head the Civil Rights Division inside the Department of Justice.
"I’d just like to mention one point regarding the nominee to head the Civil Rights Division. There are a number of controversial aspects of this nominee’s record, and I won’t take the Committee’s time to discuss those issues today. But, I’d note Maureen Faulkner has written to the Committee in opposition to the nominee," Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said during a Senate Judiciary Committee executive meeting yesterday on Capitol Hill. "Ms. Faulkner’s husband was the Philadelphia Police Officer who was brutally murdered in 1981. The nominee later got involved in the case in order to get the defendant’s death sentence lifted. She has requested that she be given the opportunity to be heard before the Committee. I think that’s a reasonable request and I support it."
In January 2011, under Adegbile's leadership as President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, attorneys voluntarily sought out and took over the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and assumed the cause of Abu-Jamal inside and outside the courtroom. The case was chosen by Adegbile and the NAACP LDF on the basis of race. Abu-Jamal was unanimously convicted in 1982 of murdering Faulker and was given the death penalty. Adegbile was successful in getting that penalty overturned. If confirmed, Adegbile will be in charge of bringing charges against law enforcement offers and agencies as the head of the DOJ Civil Rights Department.
The Fraternal Order of Police, an organization representing more than 330,000 law enforcement officers across the country, credits Adegbile with "turning the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism," and sent a scathing letter to President Obama earlier this month in opposition to the nomination.
"This nomination can be interpreted in only one way; it is a thumb in the eye of our nation's law enforcement. It demonstrates a total lack of regard or empathy for those who strive to keep you and everyone else in our nation safe in your home and neighborhoods -- sometimes giving their lives in the effort," FOP National President Chuck Canterbury wrote in the letter. "Standing up and fighting against racism wherever and whenever you find it is a brave and admirable endeavor; sometimes standing up against racism entails opposing and exposing cynical opportunism disguised in the name of justice. We will make every effort to point this out in our opposition to this nomination and will do everything we can to defeat it in the Senate. It is our hope, that in the future, you and your Administration will consider candidates with records of fairness and respect to all Americans when selecting nominees for leadership positions at the Justice Department or anywhere else in your administration."