[Pnews] Free Mumia, free Meek Mill, free them all!

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 6 10:52:38 EST 2018


  Free Mumia, free Meek Mill, free them all!

March 5, 2018

/*by Ted Kelly <https://www.workers.org/author/ted-kelly/>*/

The frame-up of rapper Meek Mill by Philadelphia cops bears a telling 
resemblance to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Both stand as indictments of 
the entire injustice system.

Recent revelations about the fraudulent arrest and imprisonment of Mill 
demonstrate what police and prison abolitionists have known for decades: 
The entire institution of mass incarceration is a crooked, racist system.

Two ex-cops have come forward to accuse former colleagues of giving 
false testimony and fabricating evidence in order to lock up Mill on gun 
and drug offenses in 2008. Retired cop Jerold Gibson testified that the 
arresting officer, Reggie Graham, lied under oath during Mill’s trial.

      The frame-up of rapper Meek Mill by Philadelphia cops bears a
      telling resemblance to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Both stand as
      indictments of the entire injustice system.

After securing a search warrant for Mill’s Southwest Philadelphia 
residence under false pretenses, Graham confronted Mill and claimed that 
the musician pointed a gun at him during the course of his arrest. 
Graham was the prosecution’s sole witness, and Mill was convicted and 
sentenced on his evidence alone.

The Feb. 13 Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Reggie Graham is one of 
26 police officers named in a “secret list” of corrupt cops maintained 
by the office of the district attorney. The second ex-cop, Jeffrey 
Walker, accused Graham of stealing money during drug busts. Graham 
retired two years ago.

      *Like so many Black youth, Mill still in prison*

Yet Mill remains in prison after a purported violation of his ridiculous 
10-year probation.

The wildly unjust treatment of Meek Mill is just one of thousands of 
cases that enable the state to keep youths of color in bondage and 
forced labor. After being convicted on phony charges, they are then 
released to live under years of probation, which makes them extremely 
vulnerable to rearrest and further sentencing.

District Attorney Larry Krasner has requested three months to 
investigate the more than two dozen crooked cops. Meanwhile, public 
defenders in the city are furious that they do not have access to this 
“secret list” of implicated officers and detectives, which could 
potentially affect dozens, if not hundreds, of cases.

While a campaign to “Free Meek” has been boosted by many of his 
followers and fellow musicians, including Jay-Z and Sean Combs, it is 
perhaps less understood how strikingly Meek’s case parallels that of the 
legendary Philadelphia Black Liberation figure, Mumia Abu-Jamal. 
Abu-Jamal has been held captive by the injustice system for nearly four 
decades, after being framed for the murder of a cop in 1981.

Abu-Jamal was shot, gravely wounded and then severely assaulted during 
his arrest. Meek Mill, testified Walker, was not only beaten during his 
arrest but swore under oath that Graham bragged about arresting “that 
rapper boy” and “whoop[ing] his ass.” The court stenographer assigned to 
Mumia’s 1982 trial later gave a sworn affidavit that Judge Albert Sabo 
bragged in his chambers, “Yeah, I’m gonna help them fry the n____r.”

Even if Krasner attempts to intervene on Mill’s behalf, his request for 
a retrial will still be determined by Judge Genece Brinkley – the same 
judge who sentenced him in 2008 and revoked his parole in November 2017. 
Similarly, Abu-Jamal’s repeated requests for appeal and retrial were 
denied by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille, the same 
former district attorney who denied his appeals and signed his death 

      *Tentacles of capitalist state: cops, DA, courts and parole board*

The cops, the district attorney’s office, the courts and the parole 
boards each play their role in the injustice system. One sitting member 
of the Philadelphia parole board, who is also a member of the Fraternal 
Order of Police, continues to block any hearings that could grant parole 
to the MOVE 9, innocent yet still imprisoned for nearly 40 years.

DNA evidence recently exonerated Anthony Wright, falsely convicted for 
rape and murder in 1993. Now Andrew Swainson and Willie Veasy, both 
currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania, are demanding retrial, since the 
same crooked detectives who framed them were responsible for Wright’s 
arrest and conviction. A civil suit won by Wright has led to the release 
of over 10,000 pages of police documents that could invalidate Swainson 
and Veasy’s convictions.

      The cops, the district attorney’s office, the courts and the
      parole boards each play their role in the injustice system.

Also named in the suit were 11 other detectives who are accused of 
beating confessions out of suspects and imprisoning witnesses for days 
to pressure them to make false statements. Prosecutors withheld crucial 
evidence from clients’ defense attorneys, and cops were called to give 
false testimony. This is a systematic, institutionalized frame-up 
system; Meek Mill and Mumia Abu-Jamal are just two of its victims.

Mumia, arrested at age 27, was only 15 when the Philadelphia Inquirer 
published a major story about his position as Minister of Information 
for the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, which this photo 
illustrates. By the time he was arrested, he’d become a familiar voice 
on Philly radio and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black 
Journalists. From prison, the volume and fame of his journalism caused 
the New York Times in 2001 to call him “perhaps the world’s best known 
death-row inmate.” In 1994, he was hired by NPR’s All Things Considered 
as a commentator, but virulent opposition from the Fraternal Order of 
Police killed the deal. – Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

Meanwhile Krasner, who came into office this January, has made some 
encouraging gestures. This week his office dropped more than 50 
marijuana-related cases after a noticeable spike in arrests. It is 
unclear if these cases are related to the “secret list” of corrupt 
police officers.

While the possession of small amounts of marijuana is only a 
citation-level offense in Philadelphia, many people of color are still 
arrested and charged with misdemeanors. Krasner has also announced his 
intention to prevent the deportation of immigrants who are charged with 
nonviolent crimes.

      *Fill the courts for Mumia Feb. 26 and March 27*

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a proud representative of the thousands unjustly 
imprisoned across the country. He is currently one of 16 Pennsylvania 
prisoners who are appealing convictions overseen by Ronald Castille when 
he was both a Philadelphia DA and later a Pennsylvania Supreme Court 
judge. Upcoming court dates at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center 
include a status report Feb. 26 and a hearing March 27.

Supporters of Meek Mill are urged to join Mumia’s supporters in this 
larger struggle. Meek Mill’s case and the many ways the system fails 
Black youth will also be the focus of a town hall meeting entitled 
“Young Black America: A Philadelphia Story” on March 3 at Audenried 
Charter School.

When we say, “Free Meek and free Mumia!” we also say, “Free them all!”

/Ted Kelly writes for Workers World, where //this story/ 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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