Courage in Trying Times

Posted: Dec 14, 2007 12:01 AM
Courage in Trying Times

Today on my radio show I interviewed one of the most courageous women I’ve ever met.

Maureen Faulkner is, quite simply, a remarkable lady, a symbol of everything that is great about America: strength, goodness, decency and tenacity.

Tragically, she will forever be linked to a monster named Mumia, a cold-blooded cop killer who has inexplicably become popular, even beloved, after he brutally executed a brave young police officer in Philadelphia on a bitterly cold morning in Philadelphia in December of 1981.

The connection between Mumia Abu-Jamal and Maureen Faulkner? Abu-Jamal was the one who killed Maureen’s husband, a popular and accomplished young police officer named Danny.

The facts are stark and simple. While Officer Faulkner was attempting to subdue a struggling punk named William Cook who had been driving the wrong way down a one-way street with his lights off in the middle of the night, no fewer than four eyewitnesses watched Cook’s brother, a disgruntled, angry, white-hating activist named Mumia Abu-Jamal run up behind the police officer and, in a cowardly act, fire a bullet into his back. As the young cop spun around, he managed to get a shot off that hit Abu-Jamal. But by now, the multiple eyewitnesses later testified, Office Faulker collapsed on the frozen pavement, lying on his back. Jamal leaned over the dying officer and finished him off, firing a bullet between his eyes.

In terms of indisputable guilt, there’s so much more. The snarl of Jamal as he later said at the hospital, “I shot the mother f***er and I hope the mother f***er dies”, an evil boast that was heard by two people. The ballistics evidence linking the bullet to Jamal’s gun (he was wearing a leather shoulder holster the night of the killing). The violent rhetoric that Jamal was known to have spoken against police officers and authority figures during his days as a failed “journalist” in Philadelphia prior to the shooting.

It was one of the most open and shut murder cases in the history of the city of Philadelphia.

Naturally, he was convicted. Justifiably, he was sentenced to death.

But the worse was yet to come.

This crazy world, inhabited by crazy fanatics who never met a liberal cause they didn’t like, featured an emerging “Free Mumia” movement, a cause embraced by radical hippies, dimwitted college kids, and a few Hollywood has-beens like Ed Asner, Mike Ferrell, and Ruby Dee.

It’s hard to tell how this could have possibly happened in the face of the preponderance of evidence against this miserable killer. In most cases, those sympathetic to Mumia never even bothered to read the evidence contained in the trial transcripts, a trial that was always on the verge of a three-ring race circus due to Abu-Jamal’s courtroom histrionics and the actions of his fellow “Move” activists.

As best I can tell, a number of people have been duped into believing that Abu-Jamal was railroaded by a “white racist court system” since he didn’t face an all-black jury. Evidently, these misguided souls believe that in 1982 America, only a black juror can objectively hear a case involving a black man.

Or maybe it’s a subtle yet vicious form of racism because these liberal elitists are so enamored with a black man who is considered articulate and eloquent, the so-called “voice of the voiceless.”

Whatever their idiotic reasons, the truth is now finally captured in a book, “Murdered by Mumia.” Maureen Faulker, a woman who has endured years of abuse by Abu-Jamal supporters, suffered through court reversals and legal wranglings, and always knowing that the man who murdered her husband has become a twisted folk hero, co-wrote this new book with the terrific Philadelphia radio talk host Michael Smerconish.

The book is the definitive explanation of the night that Mumia Abu-Jamal killed Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in cold blood. Maureen’s story is supported by courtroom testimony, irrefutable evidence, and most of all, the agonizing yet fulfilling war that Maureen has waged all these years on behalf of her beloved husband.

Every myth is debunked; every lie corrected.

She has never wavered. She never faltered. She has told her husband’s story to anyone who will listen, traveling all over this country to make sure no one can be mistaken of the horrible injustice that Mumia Abu-Jamal has committed and still gets away with every single breath of his evil existence.

I was proud to interview Mrs. Faulkner today. I will always admire her courage. And like millions of Americans, I share her hope and prayer that one day, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence will finally be carried out and justice can truly prevail.

Maureen’s husband deserves as much.