PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twenty nine years after the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, an appeals hearing will be held Tuesday for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The latest hearing will decide if the jury was not instructed properly in the 1982 murder trial. Monday night, a pro-Faulkner film was viewed at the National Constitution Center.
The audience was vocally pro-Mumia. Following the showing of the film “The Barrel of a Gun” by Tigre Hill, a lively debate was held. The participants included Hill, District Attorney Seth Williams, Activist and attorney Michael Coard and another film maker Johanna Fernandez who has made the film, “Justice on Trial”, a pro-Mumia documentary. She said her film presents both sides, but was hard to promote in this city.
“We tried to hire a P.R. firm, and we had people screen our film, check it out and they said ‘Wow, this is incredible reporting, it seems valid, you present both sides, but if we touch this, we will never work in Philadelphia again.'”
During the debate, The D.A. was asked by Coard why no bullet holes were found on the ground around the body of Faulkner in 1981. He was interrupted by Fernandez:
“It’s unfortunate for Mr. Coard, or whoever wants to stir folks up with the newest theory.”
“Give us a new trial and you’ll shut us up.”
“Ma’am, you know I’m trying to be respectful of everyone, I understand that people will disagree.”
The debate did serve to stir up the crowd, which often shouted so loud, that the panel could not be heard.
Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio