Thursday, May 24, 2007

AUDIO & PRESS RELEASE: New Mumia Crime Scene Photos Unveiled for First Time in the US!


CHECK OUT THE NEW AUDIO!

(PRESS RELEASE BELOW)

AUDIO FROM MICHAEL SCHIFFMANN’S MAY 18 PRESENTATION, WHERE HE IS JOINED BY
LINN WASHINGTON, JR.
:


MAY 18 AT JOURNALISTS FOR MUMIA EVENT: Along with original ballistics analysis, Dr. Michael Schiffmann unveiled explosive new crime scene photos from the morning of December 9, 1981, taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff, III.

Contact Michael Schiffmann at: mikschiff@t-online.de

Linn Washington, Jr. documented local media racism and explained how the same person (eventually fired for making false death certificates) wrote the mysterious death certificates for both Ken Freeman and Cynthia White.


Note: refer to the Abu-Jamal-News.com front page to view the crime scene photos that Schiffmann refers to in his presentation

(LISTENING TO AUDIO: “Right click” on the link and “save link as” to download directly to your computer , or otherwise, listen directly from Abu-Jamal-News.com by “left clicking”)

----LISTEN TO THE COMPLETE 1HR., 28 MIN., FULL LENGTH VERSION


----LISTEN TO THE SEPARATE CHAPTERS:

1) Linn Washington, Jr. on the Philly media’s racist bias against Abu-Jamal


2) Michael Schiffmann presents (part one)



3) Michael Schiffmann presents (part two) and begins to talk about Pedro Polakoff’s new crime scene photos



4) Question: “Testing” Abu-Jamal’s gun


5) Question: The Missing Witnesses


6) Question: What Happened to Kenneth Freeman and Cynthia White? Linn Washington, Jr. details how the same person (eventually fired for making false death certificates) wrote the mysterious death certificates for both Freeman and White.


7) Question: What Other Cases Show


8) Question: Where Was Robert Chobert and What Did He Tell Police?


9) Question: Getting the Facts Out to the Public


10) Question: The Media’s “Response” to the New Crime Scene Photos


11) Question: Linn Washington, Jr, Reflects on Watching the May 17 Oral Arguments


12) Question: The Three Judges Deciding on Abu-Jamal’s Case



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PRESS RELEASE: New Mumia Abu-Jamal crime scene photos unveiled for the first time in the United States, during the week of Abu-Jamal’s May 17 oral arguments at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

View the photos at: Abu-Jamal-News.com

Speaking in Philadelphia on Friday, May 18, German author, Dr. Michael Schiffmann presented findings from his new book (not yet published in the US) “Race Against Death. Mumia Abu-Jamal: a Black Revolutionary in White America,” an expansion of Schiffmann’s PhD dissertation at the University of Heidelberg, just released in Germany. Professor Michael Schiffmann traveled from Germany to Philadelphia to observe Abu-Jamal’s May 17 oral arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Along with original ballistics analysis, Schiffmann unveiled explosive new crime scene photos from the morning of December 9, 1981, taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff, III.

In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has declared a “violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty.”

Below are quotes about the crime scene photos from Robert R. Bryan, Linn Washington, Jr., and Dave Lindorff.

ROBERT R. BRYAN

The newly discovered photographs reveal the fact that the police were actively manipulating evidence at the homicide scene. For example, their moving the police officer's hat from the roof of Billy Cook's vehicle to the sidewalk to make the scene more emotionally dramatic was fraudulent and criminal. It was as if they were setting up a scene, putting in props for a movie to be shot. That is incredible.

Further, the incompetent manner in which the police at the scene dealt with the evidence is mind-boggling. You would expect better from cops in some little town in Alabama or Mississippi, than what we see in this case in Philadelphia. The most stunning example was the photograph in which one sees Police Officer James Forbes holding both pistols found at the scene in one hand, bare-handed! This is unthinkable. A nitwit could do better. Why were there no fingerprint tests? Why no ballistic examinations? It reminds me of a scene from "The Keystone Cops," the way the evidence was being handled and manipulated, except this was not funny. The fraud and incompetence of the police had very tragic consequences for my client. Today Mumia Abu-Jamal continues to sit on Pennsylvania's death row.

Mumia was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. The police and prosecution trampled upon his constitutional rights. It is disgusting and shameful, as I pointed out on May 17 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

My goal is to win a new trial and walk Mumia Abu-Jamal out of that courtroom a free person. I want an acquittal, so that my client can go home to his wife and family.

--Robert R. Bryan is the lead attorney for Mumia Abu-Jamal. He can be contacted via email: RobertRBryan@aol.com

LINN WASHINGTON, JR.

This series of photographs damage the prosecution's case significantly because they graphically show police tampering with and manipulating the crime scene...which
is totally improper. Of particular significance is the fact that these photographs provide graphic evidence contradicting the core of the case against Abu-Jamal. The account of Abu-Jamal firing at the fallen officer is shown to be false because there are no bullet holes and/or embedded bullets consistent with the physics of this account. Further, claims that the eyewitness cab driver, Robert Chobert, was parked behind the officer's car are also shown false because there is no cab in any of the photos.

Given the ole “picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words” dynamic, it is not surprising that the prosecutor repeatedly rejected this photographer's offers of assistance because his photos expose the structural flaws in the case presented in court against Abu-Jamal. These photos provide additional evidence that the jury did not consider all of the available evidence due to misconduct by police and prosecutors. This misconduct fuels demands for a fair trial in this case.

Sadly, this newly rediscovered photographic evidence has yet to stimulate interest in mainstream media...showing once again how this supposed information seeking institution shirks its ethical duties in the Abu-Jamal case to “seek truth and report it.”

--Linn Washington, Jr. is a veteran Philadelphia journalist who has been covering the Abu-Jamal case for over 25 years. He is a columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper and an Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University.


DAVE LINDORFF

I've seen these photos. They are explosive.

Of course, the key at this point is getting Mumia Abu-Jamal a new trial, so that all this incredible evidence can come out. Clearly, if there is a new trial, there would be a quite different verdict.

If there is not a new trial, then of course, the new evidence will have to be used in an effort to reopen the case at the state level.

--Dave Lindorff is the author of "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"


SUMMARY OF FACTS FROM DR. MICHAEL SCHIFFMANN’S NEW GERMAN BOOK
RACE AGAINST DEATH.”

In May, 2006, Schiffmann discovered two photographs on the Internet that were taken by the only press photographer immediately present at the 1981 crime scene – Pedro P. Polakoff, III. Polakoff arrived within 12 minutes of hearing about the shooting on the police radio and about ten minutes before the Mobile Crime Unit (responsible for forensics and photographs) arrived. According to Polakoff, this unit had still not taken any photos when Polakoff left after 30-45 minutes at the scene.

Upon contacting Polakoff, Schiffmann learned that three of his 31 original shots were published in Philadelphia newspapers at the time, and five others were lost. Schiffmann told me that he “published five of the 26 remaining photos to show the following three points:

1) “The cops manipulated evidence and supplied the trial court with stuff that was simply stage-managed. On Polakoff’s photos, P.O. Faulkner’s police hat at first is clearly on the roof of Billy Cook’s VW, and only later on the sidewalk in front of 1234 Locust where it was photographed by the police photographer who arrived 10 minutes after Polakoff!

2) “In court Police Officer James Forbes claimed that he had ‘secured’ the weapons of both Faulkner and Abu-Jamal without touching them on their metal parts in order to not destroy potential fingerprints. However, in the single photo reprinted in the book you can see that Forbes is touching the weapons on their metal parts, and quite a few of Polakoff’s other photos make it clear that Forbes touched and smudged these weapons all over, destroying any potential fingerprint evidence that may have been on them.

3) “The second-most important prosecution witness, cab driver Robert Chobert, simply was not parked in the spot, allegedly right behind Officer Faulkner’s police squad car, where he claimed to have been and from where he claimed to have observed Abu-Jamal fire the shot that killed the officer.”

Polakoff’s observations don’t stop there. Schiffmann writes in Race: “According to Polakoff, at that time all the officers present expressed the firm conviction that Abu-Jamal had been the passenger in Billy Cook's VW and had fired and killed Faulkner by a single shot fired from the passenger seat of the car.”

“Polakoff further reports that this opinion on the part of the police about what had happened was apparently based on the testimony of three witnesses who were still present at the crime scene, namely, by the parking lot attendant in charge of the parking lot on the Northern side of Locust Street, by a drug addicted woman apparently acquainted with the parking lot attendant, and another woman. As Polakoff later heard from colleagues in the media, the parking lot attendant had disappeared the day after, while the drug-addicted witness died a couple of days later from an overdose. Whatever it was that these witnesses saw or did not see, we will probably never know – the interesting fact in any case is that neither of them ever appeared in any report presented by the police or the prosecution.”

Polakoff told Schiffmann that he was simply ignored when he repeatedly contacted the DA’s office to give them his account--and his photos--of the crime scene.

CHECK OUT THE NEW AUDIO!

(PRESS RELEASE BELOW)

AUDIO FROM MICHAEL SCHIFFMANN’S MAY 18 PRESENTATION, WHERE HE IS JOINED BY LINN WASHINGTON, JR. :

Note: refer to the Abu-Jamal-News.com front page to view the crime scene photos that Schiffmann refers to in his presentation

(“Right click” on the link and “save link as” to download directly to your laptop, or otherwise, listen directly from Abu-Jamal-News.com by “left clicking”)

----LISTEN TO THE COMPLETE 1HR., 28 MIN., FULL LENGTH VERSION:


----LISTEN TO THE SEPARATE CHAPTERS:

1) Linn Washington, Jr. on the Philly media’s racist bias against Abu-Jamal


2) Michael Schiffmann presents (part one)



3) Michael Schiffmann presents (part two) and begins to talk about Pedro Polakoff’s new crime scene photos



4) Question: “Testing” Abu-Jamal’s gun


5) Question: The Missing Witnesses


6) Question: What Happened to Kenneth Freeman and Cynthia White? Linn Washington, Jr. details how the same person (eventually fired for making false death certificates) wrote the mysterious death certificates for both Freeman and White.


7) Question: What Other Cases Show


8) Question: Where Was Robert Chobert and What Did He Tell Police?


9) Question: Getting the Facts Out to the Public


10) Question: The Media’s “Response” to the New Crime Scene Photos


11) Question: Linn Washington, Jr, Reflects on Watching the May 17 Oral Arguments


12) Question: The Three Judges Deciding on Abu-Jamal’s Case


-----------------------------------

--This press release is from Abu-Jamal News. For more, contact co-founder Hans Bennett, whose email is:

hbjournalist@gmail.com

--Read the complete summary of Schiffmann’s findings

--Read a summary of the four issues currently before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals



All work by photojournalist Hans Bennett

hbjournalist@gmail.com www.insubordination.blogspot.com