Daniel Faulkner could not be reached for comment. Faulker, should the name be unfamiliar, was the Philadelphia police officer that former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal shot to death in 1981.
According to an adorable story at Breaking 911, 8-year-old students at a school in Orange, N.J., were instructed to write “get-well” messages to Abu-Jamal, who is recovering from a mystery illness at the SCI Mahanoy infirmary in Pennsylvania. When he is feeling better, Abu-Jamal will be returned to prison, where he is serving a life sentence without chance of parole.
The “get-well Mumia” campaign was spearheaded by Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at Baruch College in New York, who explained:
Last Thursday, Mumia tried to go to the bathroom in the infirmary. Because he was so weak, he was not able to sustain himself on his feet.
He slid down to the floor and waited there, helplessly and unable to call for assistance, for 45 minutes until he was found by a doctor and another prisoner.
We shared a touching moment with Mumia in an effort to raise his spirits.
Fernandez hand-delivered the stack of letters, writing according to the Daily Mail:
It had been a long time since we had seen Mumia smile.
He chuckled as he read excerpts from these touching letters.
If bringing a smile to the lips of an unremorseful black nationalist cop killer doesn’t make you feel warm and cuddly all over, I don’t know what will.
Needless to say some grumpy Guses weren’t all that thrilled with the move. Richard Costello, political coordinator for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News the letters set a dangerous example:
I think its both alarming and outrageous that any teacher would use a group of innocent seven-year-olds to promote a twisted agenda glorifying murder, glorifying hatred and glorifying violence.
He shot [the officer] in the back and then as the officer lay slumped against a wall helpless he leaned over and shot him between the eyes.
When he was in the hospital he actually bragged about it.
Costello went on to call for the dismissal of the teacher. He seems unaware that in the eyes of some, Abu-Jamal is a great man wrongly convicted. The website Free Mumia offers a list of bullet points extolling his virtues, which include “internationally celebrated black writer and radio journalist” and “organizer and inspiration for the prison lawyers movement.”
Abu-Jamal was invited last October to give the commencement address at Goddard College, from which he holds a degree earned by mail.
*UPDATE* The teacher who perpetrated this outrage has been suspended. Fox News reports that Marilyn Zuniga was suspended Friday will remain suspended without pay until the investigation is completed.
Superintendent Ronald Lee said in a statement that school administrators “vehemently deny” any knowledge of Marilyn Zuniga’s assignment. Preliminary inquiries found that Zuniga did not seek approval from administrators nor were parents notified, Lee said.
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