[Pnews] Potential Retrial In Sight For Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown)

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 3 14:22:54 EDT 2019


/*Reports from today's hearing (May 3) will be forthcoming*/

https://muslimmatters.org/2019/05/02/potential-retrial-in-sight-for-imam-jamil-al-amin-h-rap-brown/ 



  Potential Retrial In Sight For Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown)

May 2, 2019 by Hamzah Raza
------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was the night of March 16th, 2000. That day had been Eid, the holiest 
day of the year for West End’s Muslim community. Prayers were held by 
Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the soft-spoken, bookish Imam, who was famously 
known in the civil rights movement as H. Rap Brown prior to his 
conversion to Islam. That night, police officers pulled 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>up 
to the Imam’s convenience store with a warrant for his arrest. The 
police saw a man and asked him to put his hands up: 5’8”, gray eyes, and 
170 pounds, as eyewitnesses would later tell.

Asked to put his hands up, that man would instead pull out a handgun. A 
shootout between the man and two police officers would ensue. The man 
would then go to his trunk and pull out a lightweight, semi-automatic 
carbine Ruger Mini-14 with an extended clip housing 40 .223 caliber 
rounds of ammunition. Using military grade weapons, this man would 
murder one police officer and injure another. This man, Otis Jackson, 
would eventually confess to committing the crime.

Eventually, Imam Jamil Al-Amin would be charged for this crime. Neither 
Jackson’s confession of the crime nor his matching the description of 
the shooter would be included in Al-Amin’s trial. For the jury, this 
evidence was nonexistent.

Eyewitness testimony claims 
<https://www.democracynow.org/2002/3/12/muslim_cleric_jamil_al_amin_is>that 
the man who killed the police officer was not only 5’8” and 170 pounds 
with gray eyes but also that he suffered gunshot wounds. While Jackson 
fits this description, Imam Jamil Al-Amin is 6’5”, lanky, has brown 
eyes, and did not suffer a single wound. A 911 call also claimed that 
the shooter was bleeding out and walking around West End looking for a ride.

Otis Jackson was on parole at the time of the shooting for a previous 
crime he had permitted. He told his parole officer he had a shift 
working at a local diner at the time. When the officers told him to put 
his hands up, he felt the handgun in his pocket. Violating his parole 
and possessing an illegal weapon, Jackson knew that he would be sent 
back to jail. Aware of this, he decided to shoot at the police officers 
instead of putting his hands up.

That night, Jackson went 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>home 
and received a call from Sentinel Company, which provided the monitoring 
for his ankle bracelet. The Sentinel representative asked where Jackson 
was, to which he replied that he was at work. The representative then 
told Jackson that this would be marked down as a violation, to which 
Jackson agreed and quickly ended the conversation.

He then had female friends who were nurses come and treat him for his 
wounds. He told them that he was robbed. Jackson called a friend named 
Mustapha Tanner, and ask him to get rid of Jackson’s vast arsenal of 
weapons: three Ruger Mini‐14 rifles, an M16 assault rifle, a .45 
handgun, three 9mm handguns and a couple of shotguns. He also informed 
his parole officer that he was involved in a “situation” but left out 
any details. Police later searched Jackson’s house and found rounds of 
Mini‐14, .223, 9mm, and M16 ammunition. His bloody clothes and boots 
from the shootout were left untouched in a closet.

His parole was revoked 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>and 
he was sent to jail in Nevada. There he would confess to the crime and 
even be visited by an FBI agent by the name of Agent Devon Mahony. 
Jackson’s confession was documented by Mahoney on June 29th, 2000. But 
nothing was done after that. Jackson’s confession was also not included 
in Jamil Al-Amin’s trial in March of 2002. In the midst of government 
surveillance on civil rights leaders and post 9/11 Islamophobia, Imam 
Jamil Al-Amin would be sentenced to life without parole for the crime of 
murdering a police officer.

Al-Amin has an appeal 
<https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Legal-campaign-launched-for-Imam-Jamil-Al-Amin.shtml>on 
May 3rd in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that could potentially 
allow for a retrial. Through this retrial, it is possible that evidence 
that was previously left out of the court, such as Otis Jackson’s 
testimony, could allow for Al-Amin to establish his innocence.


      Arrest and Trial

Following this shooting, Imam Jamil Al-Amin would be put on the FBI’s 
most wanted list, and 100 FBI agents would be deployed on a manhunt to 
find him. Al-Amin would be arrested in White Hall, Alabama four days 
later. As he was arrested, FBI agent, Ronald Campbell kicked 
<https://justiceinitiativeinternational.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/about-jamil-al-amin-the-former-h-rap-brown/>him 
and spit on him. It is important to note here that Imam Jamil Al-Amin 
was a 55-year-old religious leader. One would wonder what sort of hatred 
led an FBI agent to engage in such behavior towards a middle-aged 
clergyman.

Eventually, an officer would also find guns in the woods adjacent to 
where Al-Amin was found. Despite decades of FBI surveillance, there was 
absolutely no evidence 
<https://justiceinitiativeinternational.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/about-jamil-al-amin-the-former-h-rap-brown/>linking 
Al-Amin to the guns. There was not a single fingerprint or Al-Amin’s DNA 
on the guns or ammunition found. The guns were also not hidden or 
concealed in any way. So under the state’s argument, Al-Amin 
meticulously cleared the weapons of his DNA and fingerprints but did not 
do anything to hide the weapons.

Many have suggested that it was actually Agent Campbell, the FBI agent 
who physically assaulted and spit on Imam Jamil Al-Amin, who planted the 
guns. In 1995, Campbell had been accused 
<https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/03/amin-m20.html>of shooting 
Glenn Thomas, an African American man, in the back of the head in 
Philadelphia. In that case, too, a fingerprint-less gun was found next 
to the man’s dead body.

In addition, Agent Campbell first claimed that he was with other police 
officers when he crossed the fence into the woods and found the guns. 
But he later, in cross-examination, claimed that he was alone. Such 
contradictory information and the fact that the weapons could never be 
proved to belong to Al-Amin makes one wonder how this could function as 
any sort of evidence.

It is also important to note that Al-Amin went to trial in March of 
2002, less than six months after 9/11. At a time when hatred against 
Muslims in the United States was at an all-time high, Al-Amin showed up 
to court wearing a kufi. He even said 
<https://sapelosquare.com/2017/08/22/the-islam-of-black-revolutionaries/>to 
the judge and jury: “I invite you to Islam. Be Muslim and receive two 
rewards [i.e. That of this life and the next].”

But even in this time when hatred of Muslims was at an all-time high, 
the idea of this soft-spoken Imam committing a crime was still strange 
to so many. The New York Times wrote 
<https://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/22/us/for-former-radical-old-battleground-became-refuge.html>that 
“Some could not believe that the man who spent the last 25 years as a 
nonviolent Muslim cleric in the West End of Atlanta would explode in a 
seemingly unprovoked blaze of violence.”

Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s Muslim faith was also attacked by the prosecution. 
They told the jury “Don’t stand up for him,” in reference to Al-Amin’s 
religiously-based decision to not stand for the court, for which the 
court granted him permission to do.

The court ruled Al-Amin guilty and he was sentenced to life without 
parole. Following this, the prosecuting attorney for the state said 
<https://ymsite.com/imamjamil/srkarima.html>, “After 24 years, we 
finally got him.” In order to understand the context of this remark, one 
must understand the Cointelpro program that Al-Amin was targeted by 
before his conversion to Islam when he was H. Rap Brown.

 1.


          Rap Brown and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

In his late teens, H. Rap Brown joined the Student Nonviolent 
Coordinating Committing (SNCC). SNCC (Pronounced “Snick”) used the 
tactics of nonviolent direct action in order to bring about civil rights 
for Black Americans. Prominent in the American South, SNCC members 
studied Gandhian tactics of nonviolence from James Lawson, who was then 
a graduate student in theology at Vanderbilt University. Future 
Congressman and then-SNCC Chairman, John Lewis would mentor H. Rap Brown.

In 1965, the young H. Rap Brown rose 
<https://www.thenation.com/article/h-rap-brownjamil-al-amin-profoundly-american-story/>up 
in the organization and eventually became chairman of the Nonviolent 
Action Group, the Washington DC affiliate of SNCC. As head of this 
organization, Brown entered into an infamous White House meeting with 
President Lyndon B Johnson. President Johnson told 
<https://www.thenation.com/article/h-rap-brownjamil-al-amin-profoundly-american-story/>Brown 
that SNCC’s all-night demonstration had prevented his two daughters from 
sleeping that night. Brown replied that he was sad for the one night his 
daughters were disturbed, but that “Black people in the South had been 
unable to sleep in peace and security for a hundred years.” He asked 
what the President planned to do about that, and anticipated that this 
issue was what this meeting was about.

Following John Lewis’ tenure as chair of SNCC, Stokely Carmichael then 
became chair <https://snccdigital.org/people/stokely-carmichael/>in 
1966. Inspired by the works of Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon, Carmichael 
understood nonviolence not as a principle, but as a tactic. He 
introduced the phrase “Black Power’ to the organization, and began to 
speak out on international issues, introducing SNCC’s opposition to the 
American war in Vietnam.


      FBI Surveillance on H. Rap Brown

In 1967, H. Rap Brown, at the age of 23, was elected Carmichael’s 
successor as chairman of SNCC. Brown would take the nonviolent out of 
the name of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, renaming it 
the Student National Coordinating Committee. He lamented 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WFFDm-Wyvw&t=88s>that “Violence is as 
American as cherry pie…We will use that violence to rid ourselves of 
oppression, if necessary. We will be free by any means necessary.” It 
was also under his leadership that SNCC entered into a working alliance 
with the Black Panther Party, giving Brown the honorary title of 
Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party alongside being Chairman 
of SNCC.

That year, the FBI contacted 
<https://ymsite.com/imamjamil/srkarima.html>Brown’s wife, Karima 
Al-Amin, in an attempt to get her to spy on her husband for the FBI and 
provide reports on him to them. At this point, SNCC was being targeted 
by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which aimed at surveilling, 
discrediting, and disrupting political organizations that fought for the 
rights of Black Americans. The FBI’s COINTELPRO program called for H. 
Rap Brown and other prominent black leaders such as Martin Luther King 
Jr and Stokely Carmichael to be “neutralized.”

It was through this program that J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, 
discovered 
<https://www.newsweek.com/declassified-jfk-file-details-fbi-sex-smears-about-martin-luther-king-701996>that 
Martin Luther King Jr was having extramarital affairs. Attempting to use 
the tactic of public humiliation, Hoover wrote a letter 
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/>to Martin Luther King Jr attempting to 
coerce him into suicide, lest he wants the world to know of his infidelity.

In December of 1969, two Black Panthers in Chicago fell victim to this 
neutralization after a 14-man police raiding force collaborated with the 
FBI. The police murdered 
<https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/08/fbi-cointelpro-new-left-panthers-muslim-surveillance>21-year-old, 
Fred Hampton and 22-year-old, Mark Clark, two members of the Black 
Panther Party in a pre-dawn raid in their Chicago homes.

In a meeting with President Lyndon B Johnson, FBI Director Hoover said 
<https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-fbis-war-on-civil-rights-leaders>, in 
reference to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, “We wouldn’t have any 
problem if we could get those two guys fighting; if we could get them to 
kill one another off.”

This FBI campaign of neutralization caught up to H. Rap Brown. After 
giving a speech in Cambridge, Maryland in July of 1970, he was grazed 
with bullets from police while walking a young woman home. That night, 
fires occurred in the city. Brown would be accused of arson and inciting 
riots in the city. Later evidence would show that Brown had no relation 
to such fires, and they actually came from the inaction of the Cambridge 
Fire Department, which had a hostile relationship with its Black 
community. But the head of the Cambridge Police Department pinned the 
charge on Brown, accusing 
<https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/great-uprising/CB96654F9843195F12D6D3863B65E284>him 
of “a well-planned Communist attempt to overthrow the government.”

Congress would thenpass <https://snccdigital.org/people/h-rap-brown/>the 
“H. Rap Brown” law in his name that would make it illegal to cross state 
lines in order to incite a riot. Then Governor of Maryland and 
soon-to-be Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew stated that 
“I hope they pick him up soon, put him away, and throw away the key.”

Like many leaders in the movement such as Angela Davis, Brown would be 
placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List and run away from the 
authorities spending time in Africa, before eventually being brought 
back to Maryland in 1970 for trial. It was there that he would be 
sentenced to 5 years at Attica Prison in New York City.

In his time in prison, H. Rap Brown accepted Islam and took the name, 
“Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.”


      Conversion to Islam and Reinvention as Jamil Al-Amin

Following his release from prison in 1976, Al-Amin traveled 
<https://www.blackagendareport.com/content/left-side-history-political-prisoner-imam-jamil-al-amin>to 
India, Pakistan, and West Africa to study Islam. He then embarked travel 
to Makkah for the Hajj pilgrimage before moving to Atlanta to establish 
a Muslim community in the impoverished and crime-ridden West End 
neighborhood.

In West End, the former radical firebrand reemerged as a pious, 
soft-spoken, and bookish Muslim scholar concerned about the spiritual 
and social resurrection of the neighborhood. He preached Islam to drug 
dealers and prostitutes in the neighborhood and sought an intense 
anti-drug campaign.

In the West End Mosque, they called 
<https://sapelosquare.com/2016/10/11/imam-jamil-al-amin-h-rap-brown/>the 
adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, out loud five times a day, so that the 
whole neighborhood could hear it. Al-Amin was of the belief that change 
of society could only come after people had changed themselves through 
the act of prayer.

Imam Khalil Abdur-Rashid, the current Muslim Chaplain at Harvard 
University who grew up in Imam Jamil’s West End community, mentioned in 
his Ph.D. dissertation:

    “He would retain his devotion to changing the prevailing system and
    worked to teach his community to cultivate an alternative way of
    living that is not indicative of token social justice programs. He
    taught the importance of the five pillars of Islam and revolutionary
    ‘technologies of the self’ that, when actualized at the communal
    level, transform the society into a better one. He still remained
    non-violent but still dedicated himself to teaching social
    revolution through a revolutionary approach to Islamic practice.

    “The mission of a believer in Islam is totally different from
    coexisting or being a part of the system. The prevailing morals are
    wrong. Western philosophy…has reduced man to food, clothing,
    shelter, and the sex drive, which means he doesn’t have a spirit. In
    Islam, we’re not talking about getting the poor to vote. We’re not
    talking about empowering poor people with money. We’re talking about
    overturning that whole thing.”

He preached and wrote about the understanding of the centrality of 
prayer, charity, diet, pilgrimage, family, and struggle as the core 
elements of person and by extension social change. His book entitled, 
Revolution By The Book, published in 1994, is the first American Muslim 
liberation theology manifesto. Whereas much Christian liberation 
theology centralizes its attention on social concern for the poor and 
liberation of the oppressed, Imam Jamil’s Revolution By The Book begins 
with the individual turning inward to correct decadent ways and through 
reform of the self, one may then begin to look outward at institutions 
that are also in need of reform. He explains that,

    “When you understand your obligations to God then you can understand
    your obligations to society. Revolution comes when human beings set
    out to correct decadent institutions. We must understand how this
    society has fallen away from righteousness and begin to develop,
    Islamically, the alternative institutions to those that are in a
    state of decline around us. But, we must first enjoin right and
    forbid wrong to ourselves. That is the first step in turning this
    thing around: turn yourself around!”

Many who had known him pre-conversion to Islam spoke of how much Al Amin 
had changed from the H. Rap Brown that once was.

A former SNCC colleague, Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, commented on Al 
Amin’s speech at the funeral of former SNCC Chairman, Stokely 
Carmichael. The talk included numerous other pillars of the civil rights 
movement such as John Lewis and Diane Nash. Thelwell stated 
<https://www.thenation.com/article/h-rap-brownjamil-al-amin-profoundly-american-story/>: 


/The only real departure and my only surprise came when Imam Al-Amin 
spoke. What he delivered in tribute to his old friend was a thoughtful, 
Islam-inflected reflection on the nature of oppression and the moral 
duty, the religious imperative, of the faithful to resist. Liberally 
adorned with Koranic quotations, it was, as I recall, an erudite, 
elegantly constructed, finely reasoned explication of the categories and 
nature of oppression, and the moral dimensions and complexities of 
struggle as expressed in the prophetic poetry of the Arabian desert some 
1,400 years earlier. In any terms–culturally speaking–it was scholarly. 
I found it startling in a curious way: It did not quite fit either 
stylistically or culturally with what had gone before, yet was 
completely appropriate./

/…/

/As he spoke, I remember thinking: Ah, so this is what a serious Islamic 
sermon sounds like, huh? Rap really takes this calling seriously. The 
brother is indeed an Islamic scholar, an imam. (I took in the hang-jawed 
look of astonishment and dawning professional respect that crossed 
Minister [Louis] Farrakhan’s face as he listened to be confirmation of 
my impression..”/

In an article titled “Growing Up West End,” Masood Abdul Haqq wrote 
<https://sapelosquare.com/2016/10/11/growing-up-west-end-reflections-on-the-influence-of-imam-jamil-al-amin/>about 
being a member of Imam Jamil Al Amin’s West End community.

/When my family and I first moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1992, the 
West End Muslim scene unfolded like some sort of Black Muslim Utopia. A 
soulful adhan was the soundtrack to Black children of all ages in kufis 
and khimars playing with each other on either side of the street. The 
intersecting streets near the masjid gave way to a large covered 
basketball court, on which the game in progress had come to a halt due 
to the number of players who chose to answer the melodic call to prayer. 
Overlooking this scene from the bench in front of his convenience store, 
like a shepherd admiring his flock, was a denim overall and crocheted 
kufi-clad Imam Jamil. /

/Before I heard him utter a single word, it was obvious to me that I was 
in the presence of a transcendent leader./

/The early 1990’s was an exciting time to be in Atlanta. However, one of 
the unfortunate undercurrents of our booming urban economy was the 
inevitable rise of the drug trade. Reagan had been out of office for a 
full term, but his crack epidemic and trickle down economics were still 
very prevalent in inner city neighborhoods across the country. The West 
End was no exception. At the intersection of Holderness Street and 
Lucille Avenue, just 100 yards from my childhood home and four city 
blocks from the West End Masjid, stood a notorious motorcycle club and 
corner store. Both businesses were knee deep in the interests of 
prominent local drug dealers and it wasn’t long before that corner 
earned the reputation as a “million dollar block.”/

/One might think living so close to such a dangerous corner would make 
for a tale of hard knocks, peer pressure, and intimidation. For the 
Muslim kids, that was the furthest thing from our reality. Instead, we 
ran around that neighborhood with impunity. When the dope boys saw us 
coming, they would step out of our way, offer to buy us snacks from the 
store, or just whisper to each other about us being “Big Slim’s folks.” 
Sometimes they called him Rap. Or the Imam. The bottom line was, they 
may have pulled the usual dope boy tricks of recruiting and terrorizing 
kids within the neighborhood, but us Muslim kids were off limits./

/There was an honor associated with being a member of Imam Jamil’s 
community, a VIP hood pass that made us immune to the usual ills of this 
sort of environment. This street credibility from outside the Muslim 
community stemmed from Imam Jamil’s days as H. Rap Brown, a 
revolutionary fighting for Black rights. It evolved when he demonstrated 
the ability to bridge gaps between young and old, Muslim and non-Muslim. 
People respected that his entire life revolved around salat at the 
Masjid. This made him accessible and dependable. Five times a day, the 
adhan was called and Imam Jamil would either lead or appoint someone to 
lead the prayer. Afterwards, no one would leave unless he raised his 
hand for permission and got the nod from the Imam. After finishing his 
dhikr and du‘a, the Imam would ask, “Is there anything anyone would like 
to bring out?” Brothers would bring forth questions, concerns, and news 
from around the neighborhood, and the Imam would address it or tell the 
person to meet him after salat. The drug issue was at the forefront. 
Slowly but surely, prayer by prayer, the million dollar block was 
abandoned. Miraculously, after efforts to clean up the neighborhood 
around the million dollar block, now stands the West End Islamic Center, 
a beacon of hope for sustaining the community./


      FBI Perception of Al Amin Post-Conversion to Islam

Despite such transformation of self that led to the transformation of 
the West End community, Al-Amin still remained the object of government 
spying that went back to the Cointelpro days. The FBI compiled a 
44,000-word file 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>on 
Al-Amin and his Muslim community, attempting to pin a crime upon him. 
Because his entire life was dedicated to praying five times a day at the 
mosque, developing his community, and stopping drugs and crime, the FBI 
could not find a single crime that Al Amin had committed.

After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Al Amin was 
interrogated 
<https://www.thenation.com/article/h-rap-brownjamil-al-amin-profoundly-american-story/>by 
the FBI as to whether he played a role.

Al Amin’s brother, Ed Brown stated 
<https://www.thenation.com/article/h-rap-brownjamil-al-amin-profoundly-american-story/>that: 


“/Y’know…something happens. Say the first attempt to bomb the Trade 
Center, right? They feed their infallible profile into their computer. 
Muslim…radical…violent…anti-American, whatever, who knows. Anyway, boom, 
out spits the names, H. Rap Brown prominent among them. Next thing the 
Feds come storming into the community and haul Jamil in. This actually 
happened. Of course, it’s stupid. And every time they have to let him 
go. But how do you stop it? A goddamn nightmare, they never quit.”/

Two years following that, Al-Amin would be arrested 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>by 
a joint force of the FBI, local police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, 
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives after a 22-year-old, William Miles, 
was shot in the leg. One must wonder why the FBI was concerned about a 
non-fatal shooting that hit a young man’s right leg. But even in this 
case, Imam Jamil Al-Amin was found not guilty and cleared of any 
wrongdoing.

It was found that between 1992 and 1997, authorities investigated 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>Al-Amin 
“in connection with everything from domestic terrorism to gunrunning to 
14 homicides in Atlanta’s West End.”

While driving 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>in 
Marietta, Georgia in May of 1999, Al-Amin would be pulled over in his 
vehicle for driving with a drive-out tag, which allows a vehicle to 
drive without a license plate for 30 days. Eventually, Al-Amin would be 
searched, and an honorary police badge, given to him by the mayor of 
White Hall, Alabama, would be found in his wallet. Al-Amin was charged 
with impersonating a police officer, driving a stolen car, and driving 
with expired insurance. In 2002, a Georgia judge would rule that this 
warrantless search violated Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s fourth amendment 
rights. The mayor of White Hall also wrote to how he had gifted Al-Amin 
this badge. Due to a snowstorm, Al-Amin’s court date for this case was 
canceled— and never rescheduled.

It was this traffic stop that would lead to the arrest warrant. It was 
from that warrant that police officers would eventually be shot and 
killed by Otis Jackson, who would confess to the crime and match the 
description of the shooter. Despite this, it would be Imam Jamil Al-Amin 
who would go to jail.


      *Al-Amin’s Time in Prison*

In addition to being there for a crime that he claims he did not commit, 
Al-Amin has faced 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>many 
violations of his rights in jail. He has been unable to attend Friday 
prayers and has spent the bulk of his time in solitary confinement for 
23 hours a day. Between June and August of 2003, the federal government 
was also caught reading his mail, in violation of Al-Amin’s fourth 
amendment rights.

Despite his solitary confinement, word got around that Imam Jamil was 
imprisoned. Prisoners in Georgia also asked 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>for 
Al-Amin to be their unified Imam “because of his credibility as a leader 
prior to incarceration,” in an act that was not initiated by him. This 
led to an FBI investigation and report titled “The Attempt to Radicalize 
the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Inmate Population” which 
established Al-Amin as the leader of this radical Muslim kingpin 
operating in prisons. The report failed to link Al-Amin to any extremist 
Muslim organization and also failed to establish how Al-Amin could lead 
such an extremist cell while being in solitary confinement.

Without notifying his family or legal counsel, Al-Amin was forcibly 
transferred 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>by 
federal authorities in July of 2007. He was chained inside a vehicle for 
6 hours in the 92-degree heat, while being deprived of his blood 
pressure medicine. Because he was unable to stand, Al-Amin was 
hospitalized for a night, before being transferred to the ADX prison 
facility in Florence, Colorado. He was then transferred to the United 
States Penitentiary in Arizona, a high-security federal prison for male 
inmates. In August of 2007, the Georgia Department of Corrections said 
Al-Amin was sent to federal prison because “Al-Amin’s high profile 
presents unique issues beyond the state prison system’s normal inmate.” 
It was never explained what these “unique issues” are.


      Appeal on May 3rd and Potential for Retrial

Allen Garrett is a lawyer who has been working pro-bono on Al-Amin’s 
case since 2007. He has 
<https://medium.com/@ohsiddiqui/the-prosecution-of-a-revolutionary-the-trials-of-h-rap-brown-jamil-al-amin-d19aed200bd9>“discovered 
retaliatory actions on the part of prison officials against Al-Amin.” 
Moreover, he has been granted the possibility for an appeal on May 3rd, 
in which the court will decide whether Al-Amin can be granted a retrial 
for the crime he was found guilty of in 2002.

With new evidence not included in the trial such as the confession of 
Otis Jackson, and Agent Campbell’s lying about being alone and previous 
planting of fingerprint-less guns, Al-Amin has the potential to clear 
himself of such charges and establish his innocence. America too has 
changed drastically since Al-Amin was put on trial in 2002. 
Organizations such as Black Lives Matter have brought to light the 
injustice of programs such as COINTELPRO which targeted Al-Amin and 
other civil rights activists. The Trump era has also highlighted the 
irrationality of the brazen Islamophobia that aided Al-Amin’s guilty 
verdict.

Al-Amin’s membership in the Black Panther Party was symbolic and 
resulted as a result of an alliance between the Black Panther Party and 
the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which he was chair of. 
But despite his limited affiliation, in today’s context, the Black 
Panthers do not have the same stigma attached to them. The movie, /Black 
Panther, /ends in Oakland, California, in an allusion to where the Black 
Panther Party was founded. Beyonce wore Black Panther outfits at the 
Super Bowl. And even Democratic Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, 
hardly a symbol of radicalism or even progressivism, has stated 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwsCIJlYUUg>that she was inspired by 
the values of the party.

I spoke to Kairi Al-Amin, Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s son. He was 14-years-old 
when his dad was imprisoned. Since then, Kairi, now 31, has become an 
attorney, with the goal of freeing his dad of this crime that he did not 
commit. He spoke of the importance that there is in getting public 
opinion on the side of his father as this appeal approaches. Should the 
court rule in favor of this appeal, a retrial could allow for evidence 
previously left out to be introduced. He has created a website called 
https://whathappened2rap.com/, which has a fact sheet on the trial, with 
information on how people can be better involved.

With the public watching, it is possible that on May 3rd, the 11th 
Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s 
retrial, and that he can finally be given the opportunity to present the 
full case and be exonerated of this crime.

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