[Pnews] Rochester Calls On DA to Drop "Politically-Motivated" Prosecution of Jalil Muntaqim

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 13 13:56:03 EST 2020

The Police Accountability Board Alliance (PABA) held a press conference on
Nov. 12, 2020 in support of Jalil Muntaqim in Rochester, NY.

Local faith leaders, elected officials, and community members are demanding
District Attorney Sandra Doorley drop all charges against Jalil for
allegedly illegally registering to vote.

You can watch the press conference here:

Jalil was recently arrested and was immediately released on his own
recognizance by the judge at his arraignment. Grand Jury proceedings were
scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, but were postponed. No new date has
been set. Jalil is next scheduled to appear Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 (subject
to change).

*Rochester Mobilization to support Jalil!*

*Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 @ 3 p.m. Brighton Town Court - Brighton Town Hall
2300 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14618*

*If you have not done so already, please sign on to the community letter
being circulated, which opposes his reimprisonment: https://urlat.co/8KOpt

and Community Leaders Call On DA to Drop "Politically-Motivated"
Prosecution of Jalil MuntaqimNovember 12, 2020

Rev. Lane Campbell speaks in support of Jalil Muntaqim Thursday (PHOTO: D

(ROCHESTER NY) -- Local faith leaders, elected officials, and community
members are demanding District Attorney Sandra Doorley drop all charges
against a formerly-incarcerated man who is accused of illegally registering
to vote.

"For far too long our elders have been incarcerated as political prisoners,
kept behind bars for years on end, when our communities need them now more
than ever," Reverend Lane Campbell said Thursday during a press conference
in front of Spiritus Christi Church.

"Jalil Muntaqim is welcomed back into the community with open arms," she
said. "And he deserves to be reunited with his children, his grandchildren,
and his great-grandchildren."

Jalil Muntaqim recently won his parole after 50 years in the carceral
system and a struggle with COVID-19 this spring. But just days after his
release on October 7th, local Republican Party operatives and right-wing
pundits were *calling for him*
to be re-incarcerated, claiming the 69-year-old former member of the Black
Liberation Army had committed voter fraud when he allegedly submitted a
voter registration form.

One week later, Muntaqim was arraigned on two felony and one misdemeanor
charges that his supporters say have never been used to prosecute anyone
here before--tampering with public records, offering a false instrument for
filing, and providing a false affidavit.

In New York State, people with felony convictions lose the right to vote
until they complete their maximum sentence or their parole. Since 2018,
however, they have been able to vote while still on parole, if they receive
a conditional pardon from the governor.

Brighton Town Councillor Robin Wilt (PHOTO: D LAMEN)

Meanwhile, people on probation remain eligible to vote. But according to
Brighton Town Councillor Robin Wilt, it's not unheard of for local
elections boards to rejected their voter registrations unlawfully.

"The confusion around the rights of formerly incarcerated people amounts to
voter suppression," Wilt said Thursday. She added that Rochester's
newly-elected state representatives had a chance to change that by
supporting legislation (A4987/S1931) currently under consideration in
Albany that would restore the right to vote automatically upon parole.

Muntaqim's mother, Billie Bottom Brown, also spoke Thursday.

She thanked the community for supporting her son's return to the Rochester
suburbs where he was raised.

"You'll find that he is going to be a great asset to this community,"
Bottom Brown said. "He taught his fellow inmates history, computers. He
organized a poetry class that was held every Monday. He encouraged his
fellow inmates to put their frustrations and aspirations on paper."

Billie Bottom Brown (PHOTO: D LAMEN)

"I believe the District Attorney's Office was pressured into doing what she
did (...) by her constituents," she said.

Bottom Brown called on DA Doorley to show compassion as a fellow mother.

"This is the first time that I have been able to bond with my child in 49
years," she said. "And the thought of him being put back in for a mistake
that was made in a packet of papers that was issued to him to help him
assimilate himself back into society is devastating."

A voter registration form was reportedly one among many forms and
applications Muntaqim received when he was released in early October.

"When Jalil and I started this journey, he was 19 and I was in my 30s. He's
now 69 and on the 19th of this month I will be 86. It's been a long, long
journey, and I appreciate your trying to bring it to an end for us."

Jalil Muntaqim's next court date is Monday, November 16th.


*DARIEN LAMEN is news director/producer for Reclaiming the Narrative. He
can be reached at wxirnews at gmail.com <wxirnews at gmail.com>.*
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