Faulkner killing still haunts Philadelphia

Dec. 9, 2006 at 6:03 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Twenty-five years after a Philadelphia police officer was gunned down, the case continues to haunt the city.

Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot five times on a street corner in the heart of the city on Dec. 9, 1981. Mumia Abu-Jamal, a cab driver and former radio newsman with ties to the Black Panthers, was arrested that night and convicted and sentenced to death the next year.

To police officers and many others in Philadelphia, the case seems simple. Abu-Jamal was at the scene, shot once by Faulkner. Witnesses at the hospital where both men were taken say that Abu-Jamal boasted of the shooting.

Faulkner's widow, Maureen, is still very involved with the case. On Friday, she co-sponsored a lunch honoring Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham that raised money for a scholarship.

The police officer's former colleagues also keep the case alive.

"Truthfully, there's not a day goes by that I don't think of him," Garry Bell, a former partner, told the Philadelphia Daily News.

Abu-Jamal's supporters say he is the victim of a frame-up by police who wanted to silence an outspoken left-winger.

He remains in prison, while the state appeals a decision overturning his death sentence.

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