[Pnews] Jamil Al-Amin update
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 17 15:46:36 EDT 2020
*March 16, 2020, is the 20th Anniversary*
*of the killing in Atlanta that led to the unconscionable imprisonment of
*About Jamil Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown*
*Heather Gray <hmcgray at earthlink.net>*
*March 16, 2020*
*(Link to article
H. Rap Brown
I had first sent out this article below in 2018 about Jamil Al-Amin. Given
this is the 20th anniversary of the March 16, 2000 killing of Atlanta
Deputy Sheriff Ricky Kinchen, which led to accusations about Al-Amin as the
killer, I am sending this out yet again. All of this insane case of
accusations against Al-Amin, when Otis Jackson admitted to the killing, is,
to me, an indication that the federal government has anxiously wanted to
get profound and influential leaders, such as Martin Luther King and
Malcolm X, assassinated or, in Jamil Al-Amin's case, away from the masses
by having him in prison.
This is a partial update of his important history. But, to grasp the
importance of his case, this early history is essential. There will be more
updates, including about the recent Atlanta hearing in the court on his
case and the subsequent legal decisions and considerations.
Being involved in the civil rights movement in the 'South', in the 1960s,
means that you would know and/or hear about the great H. Rap Brown (now
known as Jamil Al-Amin) in his early organizing work for justice, such as
in Alabama. This was prior to his remarkable activism north of the Mason
Dixon line. Yes, Brown and others were challenging Alabama's Governor
George Wallace and the prevailing white supremacy that denied Blacks
virtually everything in terms of what is referred to as democratic rights.
The unjust and racist system was entrenched in the South and in the country
as a whole, resulting in H. Rap Brown, along with his Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC) colleagues, challenging it all.
The activism in the Brown family is and remains remarkable. H. Rap Brown's
older brother, the late Ed Brown, was also engaged in every conceivable
movement for justice across the South. Originally from Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, Ed was ultimately living in Atlanta where he served as the head
of the Voter Education Project
other leadership roles. Throughout his on-going career, wherever there was
an issue of injustice to be addressed, Ed Brown was there on the front
lines, which included, of course, the South African anti-apartheid
movement. He was a very dear friend of mine.
H. Rap Brown ultimately took the name of Jamil Al-Amin and, as a Muslim
leader, was the influential Imam in Atlanta's West End where he
consistently attempted, among other missions, to end the drug invasion in
the West End community. Then, in 2000, as mentioned, the Atlanta Deputy
Sheriff Ricky Kinchen was killed and Al-Amin was accused of this crime,
yet, to repeat, all the indications are that he was not the killer. In
fact, as from the 'Fact Sheet' below, *"Evidence that an individual, Otis
Jackson, confessed to being the shooter on the evening of March 16, 2000,
was never introduced at trial by the prosecution or defense-Otis Jackson
continues to maintain that he was the assailant."*
When Jamil Al-Amin was first in prison in Atlanta for this alleged crime, I
visited him briefly along with Alabama attorney J.L. Chestnut. Chestnut had
been defending Al-Amin for years while Al-Amin was engaged in the civil
rights movement in Alabama.
During the 2002 trial, that ended in the conviction of Jamil Al-Amin, we
consistently held radio shows on WRFG-Atlanta
along with Al-Amin's brother Ed Brown, regarding updates of the trial and
many of us, including myself, were observers in the courtroom.
Al-Amin is now in the United States Prison (USP) in Tucson, Arizona where
he is housed in the general population. He continues to declare his
In fact, tonight on WRFG-Atlanta
(89.3FM) at 6 PM on the Just Peace
that I host, along with co-producer Ernest Dunkley, we will interview one
of Al-Amin's attorney's, Musa Dan-Fodio, along with Bilal Sunni Ali who is
a long time colleague of Jamil Al-Amin. We will explore with them, the
history of Jamil Al-Amin as well as an update of his on-going legal case.
* FACT SHEET ON THE CASE OF JAMIL ABDULLAH AL-AMIN *
*WHO IS JAMIL AL-AMIN?*
Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was sentenced to life
without parole in the Georgia prison system. He became involved in the
civil/human rights movement primarily in the southern part of the United
States as early as 1962. As a result of his participation, speech-making,
and subsequent election as Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), in May 1967, the United States government targeted him in
its illegal surveillance and entrapment programs, specifically COINTELPRO
initiated by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
*"We Protest the Violation of Imam Jamil's Basic Rights"*
Ed Brown in the center wearing a white shirt - Photo: Heather Gray (2006)
During his earlier years, the United States government and its state and
local branches charged and imprisoned him for counseling to arson, inciting
to arson and riot, federal firearms violations, and bond violations. These
charges were fabricated and unfounded. By 1968 while under house arrest,
U.S. Congress members, and governors were calling for law enforcement to
arrest him, and "slam the doors" of the prisons behind him. On April 11,
1968, the "Rap Brown" Federal Anti-Riot Act passed as an amendment to fair
housing law. This law against dissent made it illegal to travel from one
state to another, write a letter, make a telephone call, or speak n radio
or television with the "intent" to encourage any person to participate in
a riot. By 1970, Imam Jamil was placed on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted List,"
simply for failing to appear for trial on the fabricated 'inciting to arson
and riot' charges.
>From 1971 until 1976, Imam Jamil was imprisoned in the State of New York on
charges related to eradicating drug activity in African American
communities. Upon his release, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he
immediately began to establish and organize a Muslim community. He devoted
years to traveling throughout the United States, the Sudan, Pakistan,
India, the West Indies, and Saudi Arabia. He also served on boards of major
Islamic organizations with a national and international agenda. After 24
years, he was arrested on March 20, 2000, and charged with the death of one
and the assault of another Fulton County Georgia Sheriff's deputy.
*FACT SHEET ON THE CASE OF JAMIL ABDULLAH AL-AMIN*
*The Case of Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin*
*Al-Amin with his son*
In January 2002, the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia summoned a
jury pool of approximately 1500 residents of the county to be considered to
serve as jurors in the case against Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Charged
with 13 counts, including the murder of one Fulton County sheriff's deputy
and the wounding of another deputy on the evening of March 16, 2000, Imam
Jamil retained a team of four attorneys to present his defense. The jury of
nine African Americans, two Caucasians, and one Hispanic took less than 10
hours to reach its verdict in the three-week trial. The sentencing phase
began on March 11, 2002, with relatives of the deputies reading victim
impact statements. For three days, Imam Jamil's defense team called 20
character witnesses. On March 14, 2002, the same jury that found Imam Jamil
guilty of all 13 counts of the indictment, pronounced the sentence of life
without the possibility of parole on the murder and felony murder counts.
In addition, the presiding judge imposed an additional 30 years to the
sentence as punishment on the remaining 11 counts.
The jury declined to pronounce the death penalty. Imam Jamil immediately
was moved to Georgia's maximum security state prison in Reidsville,
Georgia. He remained in Reidsville in a 23-hour involuntary lock-down until
Georgia turned him over to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. On August 1,
2007, with no federal charges or convictions, Imam Jamil was moved to the
Supermax ADMAX USP in Florence, Colorado.
Photo: Heather Gray (2006)
As a Georgia state prisoner, Imam Jamil was transferred into federal
custody based on a March 1990 Agreement between Georgia and the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) to house an inmate for the state, Georgia turned
Imam Jamil over to the FBOP after determining that Muslin Georgie inmates
wanted him to serve as the Imam for all Georgia state inmates. The
Department of Corrections, along with the FBI, maintained that this
"solidarity movement" would be a "threat" to the security of the Georgia
prison system. With the prompting of the FBI, Georgia conceded to the
transfer, although Georgia maintained that it was not recommending any
particular prison for Imam Jamil to be held.
Imam Jamil remained at the Florence ADX in solitary conﬁnement for seven
years. His status at Florence as a state prisoner prevented him from
participating in the institution's step-down program. As a result, he
remained in limbo while other federal inmates had the capability to work
their way out of solitary confinement to another federal institution.
*APPEALING THE CONVICTION*
*Rally in support of Jamil Al-Amin in Atlanta, GA*
Photo: Heather Gray (2006)
Imam Jamil continues to challenge his Georgia conviction. There is
consensus that Imam Jamil was convicted well before the jury announced its
verdict. Contradictions highlighted during the trial and comments made by
the prosecution smacked at First Amendment rights. Moreover, Imam Jamil's
history as a civil/human rights leader at the time of the trial spanned
nearly 35 years of government surveillance and harassment. Additionally,
before the trial ended, the trial judge ruled that the Imam's initial May
31, 1999 stop, search, and arrest by the Cobb County police officer indeed
was an illegal and unjustified stop.
Supporters continue to raise the following issues that surfaced during the
* Prosecution almost systematically eliminated older African American women
who could have been expected to have some knowledge of the FBI's COINTELPRO
program, which targeted African American leaders.
* Deputies stated that one or even both deputies had shot the assailant.
* The surviving deputy was emphatic when describing the assailant as having
grey eyes - Imam's eyes are brown.
* The crime scene contained blood on the street and in a neighboring
abandoned house, however, the blood was discounted.
* The deputies offered conflicting accounts of the description of the
assailant and clothing worn - the description did not match the Imam.
* The testimony of 911 tapes confirming reports of a wounded person in the
area of the Imam's store on the night of the shooting was not admitted into
* The Imam's fingerprints were not found on any firearm associated with the
* Pieces of evidence relating to the sheriff's vehicle were either lost or
destroyed prior to court proceedings.
* FBI agent Ron Campbell who admitted to kicking and spitting on the Imam
during the White Hall, Alabama arrest, escaped total scrutiny as to his
role in the case; and local residents refuted the account of the U.S.
Marshals who claimed the lmam shot at them in White Hall.
* Evidence that an individual, Otis Jackson, confessed to being the shooter
on the evening of March 16, 2000, was never introduced at trial by the
prosecution or defense-Otis Jackson continues to maintain that he was the
Imam Jamil's federal habeas addresses discrepancies as well as
constitutional errors that occurred during the Georgia trial that resulted
in his conviction. His federal appeal will continue, during 2018, before
the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, asserting among other issues that the
prosecutor's closing argument and actions were not "harmless error,"
therefore, the conviction should be overturned.
*Free Jamil Al-Amin*
Photo: Heather Gray (2006)
In 2013, lmam Jamil became ill with a dental problem that ultimately caused
two abscesses that the Florence FBOP ADX medical staff ignored. As a result
of a major campaign by family members, human rights activists,
organizations, supporters and ultimately Congressional reps, the Imam
received tests that indicated the presence of a stage of multiple myeloma,
cancer of the plasma cells, which required a bone marrow biopsy. After
further public pressure urging the FBOP to stop the "execution by medical
neglect" of the Imam, he was moved on July 15, 2014, from the Florence
supermax prison to the federal Butner Medical Center, in North Carolina.
On July 23, 2014, at the Butner FMC, Imam Jamil received medical results
that he had smoldering myeloma, an intermediate pre-cursor stage of
multiple myeloma, which needed to be monitored. He was moved from Butner,
in October 2014, to the USP Canaan federal prison, in Waymart, PA, where he
was placed in the general population after 14 years of being subjected to
administrative and solitary confinement.
Supporters continue to urge the FBOP to monitor the Imam's medical
condition and to provide quality treatment at a facility in a warmer
climate, Imam Jamil subsequently was moved, in December 2015, from Waymart
to the USP, in Tucson, Arizona where he is housed in the general
population. He continues to declare his innocence, and supporters are
advocating for his return to a Georgia facility where he will be able to
assist his legal team is appealing his conviction.
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