GLENN BECK PROGRAM
GLENN: There is one of the most amazing stories that I think I've ever heard when it comes to cop killings is still going on over 25 years later. It's the Mumia Abu-Jamal case in Philadelphia. Michael Smerconish is with me. Mumia actually was convicted of a crime of shooting Danny Faulkner. His widow is on the phone with us as well. Let me go to Michael first.
They just put out a new book and it is a terrific read and a story that just does not, it does not -- it is not just a Philadelphia story. It is a story that is happening all over the country and one you need to understand because it's not about just a cop getting killed. It is also about political correctness, it's about victimhood, of victimizing the perpetrators and it is also about Hollywood.
So let me go to Michael Smerconish. First, Michael, recap everybody's memory in case they don't know this story.
SMERCONISH: December 9, 1981, 10 minutes or so to 4:00 a.m., Danny Faulkner, a 25-year-old police officer driving a patrol car, stops a car presumably for going the wrong way on a one-way street. It seems like a routine traffic stop. A guy named William Cook is the driver of that vehicle. His brother is Mumia Abu-Jamal, aka Wesley Cook, driving a cab across the street, sees the traffic stop. William Cook gets out of a Volkswagen, strikes Danny Faulkner. The two of them scuffle. Wesley Cook, Mumia Abu-Jamal sprints across the street according to eye witnesses, pulls out his 38, shoots Danny Faulkner in the book. Danny Faulkner spins around, shoots Abu-Jamal in the stomach. Abu-Jamal then leans over Danny Faulkner at point blank range, shoots and kills him right between the eyes. Four eye witnesses. The ballistics match. The gun was his. He confessed in the ER that night, "I shot the M-Fer and I hope the M-Fer dies. He, Abu-Jamal, has never testified and never offered an explanation. His brother who was there and saw the whole thing, the only words he's ever spoken, "I ain't got nothing to do with it." And still he's become an international cause celeb. I can't let it pass that you're in San Francisco today where Mumia Abu-Jamal was named an honorary citizen of that city in the same way that he was of Paris, France.
GLENN: I've got to tell you, Michael, I landed at the airport yesterday and the guy who picked me up who had absolutely no sense of humor when I said it. We drove by there at the airport and they had a Coast Guard station and I said, wow, Coast Guard? I didn't think you were allowed to have Coast Guard here in San Francisco. I mean, it's damn near not America in many ways. I'm tired of cities like San Francisco trying to preach to the rest of the country and not hold up any of their part of the responsibility. You know, they just want all their freedoms but none of the responsibility that comes with being an American.
SMERCONISH: The further you get from Philadelphia, the greater the distortions in this case and Maureen's been fighting for 26 years. The anniversary of the murder is Sunday and that's why she's written "Murdered by Mumia" now to tell the world about the execution. And I was her coauthor because I wanted to tell the world about her. She's a remarkable woman. I think a lot of people, Glenn, most people would have walked away from it.
GLENN: Okay. Maureen, you are absolutely amazing for not walking away with it and the man that is in your life now is equally as amazing, I believe, because he not only has stood by your side now, you know, after 26 years, your husband has been dead. You meet him, you develop a relationship and he is just as dedicated to this as you are, if I'm not mistaken.
MAUREEN FAULKNER: Yes, he is.
GLENN: That says an awful lot about him.
MAUREEN FAULKNER: Yes, he is. Paul, back in 1992 when Leonard wineglass took over this case and started to give misinformation and lies and spread them around the world about my husband, I made a decision that I felt I needed to stand up and speak out on behalf of Danny. And I talked to Paul about this and I said, what should I do? I feel in my heart I need to fight back. And Paul said, hon, if it was me dead in the ground, I'd want you to fight for me. I'll be beside you all the way; I'll help you.
MAUREEN FAULKNER: -- with anything I can.
GLENN: I want to play something from The Today Show. This was yesterday and you guys were on with Matt Lauer. And I want to play, I want to play first -- we have two cuts, Dan, right? What do we have first?
DAN: First is the part where he attacks Michael.
GLENN: Okay. Maureen, I'm going to get to something he said to you here in a second because I found it just unbelievably outrageous but let me start with Michael.
Michael, this is what he said to you and I don't think you actually heard what he said, but listen to what he said to you.
LAUER: Michael, Abu-Jamal's attorney since 2003 is a guy named Robert Brian. He says that when the conviction and sentence came down in 1982, there were constitutional issues, there was racism, there was injustice, there was evidence tampering. He also says, by the way, that you're a guy who's involved in this for your own personal gain.
GLENN: Okay, stop for a second. First stop for a second. First I want to say of course there was racism, of course there was injustice. I mean, let's talk specifics here. But he said that there was evidence tampering. You have made the claim now that the mayor of Philadelphia, John Street, was actually involved in, would you call it evidence tampering?
SMERCONISH: Well, let me tell you what I can say. Cynthia White was one of four eye witnesses at the 1982 trial. She was probably the most critical of the eye witnesses because different witnesses saw different aspects of what transpired. She saw the entire sequence. She identified Abu-Jamal as Danny Faulkner's murderer. And what came to light right at the outset of the trial is that then city councilman John Street had paid her an unexpected visit while she was in prison herself -- she was a prostitute -- and she gave a witness statement to the prosecutor immediately thereafter because she was so unsettled by him coming to her jail cell. And we quote verbatim the statement that she gave under oath to the police in which John Street, according to Cynthia White, essentially just said you could have walked away and Maureen can give her interpretation of that. My interpretation of it is that this is the then future mayor of the City of Philadelphia encouraging this witness not to participate in the prosecution's case.
MAUREEN FAULKNER: Yes, he was a councilman at the time. And another thing he did when he was in to talk to Cynthia White was he asked her questions. He asked her questions about where her mother lived, where her sister lived, where she lived. And at the time he said, what did you see? And she said, I saw Mumia murder the police officer. And he said, did you go up to the police and tell them? And he she said, yeah. And he said, why, why did you go up to the police? And she said, because I didn't think it was right what Mumia did to that police officer. And he said, well, you could have walked away -- you had enough time to walk away." This is our mayor.
GLENN: Let me ask you something. Michael, I mean, are you surprised when you hear things like this? I mean, you know, you've lived in Philadelphia and are still living in Philadelphia, and you see what's happening in Philadelphia and Mayor John Street now, the guy who did this and had that conversation with that prostitute. You know, you've got out-of-control crime in Philadelphia and you've got police officers being killed left and right in Philadelphia. Surprise you?
SMERCONISH: It's a pattern, and it's not just this one instance. And no, it doesn't surprise me. Let me give you a related instance. Paris, France named Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen of that town and in a neighboring community they renamed a street for Abu-Jamal. A group of French communists -- and that's not a right wing talking point -- I mean literally French communists who were behind that renaming came to Philadelphia's city hall and representatives of the street administration welcomed them into city hall and, Glenn, you are not going to believe this, gave them replica Liberty bells.
GLENN: I know.
SMERCONISH: So here's a group that supports a man that a jury said murdered a cop from Philly and they are being given replica Liberty bells. I mean, that's our equivalent of the key to the city.
GLENN: Michael, what's his name from the today show, Matt Lauer -- sorry, I've had like five hours sleep in two days. So I'm not so quick on my feet today. But he said that you were doing this for some other reason. Let me give you the exact quote that he said. Here it is.
LAUER: That you're a guy who's involved in this for your own personal gain because you didn't try this case. You are not a lawyer. Why are you involved in this?
SMERCONISH: Well, I resent that charge and obviously Mr. Brian --
GLENN: Stop. You are not a lawyer, Michael?
SMERCONISH: I am a lawyer. I have an ivy league law degree. I practiced law for the last 15 years. I am now full time as a writer and broadcaster, but I'm a lawyer in good standing. And for 15 years Maureen Faulkner has been a pro bono project for me. I interpreted that question to mean you're not in the DA's office and you haven't been. And everybody else having heard it and now me as well, no, I think he was coming at it from some other place to sort of denigrate my role. Maureen Faulkner has been -- there's no disrespect intended in this but like a charitable endeavor for me.
MAUREEN FAULKNER: And Glenn, I have to tell you I was outraged. I was absolutely outraged yesterday by that question. No one realizes what Michael has done for me.
SMERCONISH: I'm not accepting and nor is Maureen, a dime for this book and, in fact, I want to tell you that today in my checking account sits $170,000 that I've been paid to write Murdered by Mumia that on Monday -- and the only reason we're waiting until Monday is we have a 500-person luncheon in Philadelphia at which the governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, will provide and we're doing a formal check presentation. I'm not making a nickel. And the flap of the book -- and this is what I read aloud on The Today Show, it says that. This is typical. It diverts attention from the fact that four eye witnesses, a confession, the ballistics, everything say Abu-Jamal murdered a cop and is getting away with it now because they continually throw up these canards.
GLENN: There was a protest outside of The Today Show and they actually covered that protest. And then Matt Lauer, Maureen, asked you this question. Here it is.
LAUER: Maureen, when you're ever alone, when you're alone with your thoughts at night and when you even see pictures of the protest like the one we have across the street, does it ever cross your mind that perhaps they're right or do you ever --
MAUREEN FAULKNER: I absolutely could not believe that question. Does it ever cross my mind that they are right. Excuse me. I sat through the 1982 trial. I am the widow of Danny. If anyone wanted to know what happened the night my husband was murdered, it's me. I sat through every single court hearing, ballistics evidence, eyewitness testimony. I know who brutally murdered Danny and it was Mumia Abu-Jamal.
GLENN: They say there's new evidence. They have pictures now that show that there's -- if he shot him and aimed a gun right through his head, it would have left, you know, an imprint in the sidewalk and there's no damage to the sidewalk. They say that there's now new photographic evidence.
SMERCONISH: May I respond to that? There's always something new. And people want to know -- and this is exactly why the book must be read because it's an indictment of our judicial system as well. People could say, how could it go for 26 years? Well, if they get away with it with the new photos, they will get away with it for another 26 years. Glenn, one year at this time of year, a guy stands up and he said, I know who murdered Danny Faulkner, it wasn't Abu-Jamal, it was me. And the defense lawyers believed that to be so preposterous, they wouldn't run with the theory. But that became an issue.
Another guy surfaced years later and he said, I was there, I heard Danny Faulkner's dying breath, and his last words were... get Maureen, get the children, overlooking, of course, the fact that he died instantly and they never have children. But these canards, every single year it's something else and they just keep going like the Energizer bunny and at some point it's got to stop.
GLENN: All right. Well, you've done a great job to try to stop it by the new book, "Murdered By Mumia." It is well worth your time to pick it up and read it because it is not just this one officer. It's not just Philadelphia. There is a pattern all across the country and quite honestly I think the patterns that you see in this book are also some of the patterns that you will begin to see with Joe Horn in Texas. Educate yourself on this story. It is a fascinating story and Maureen, I have so much respect for you and all that you've done and your family and, of course, Michael, you know how I feel about you, the same. This has been something you've carried for a long, long time. Thanks, guys. Again it's in bookstores now, "Murdered by Mumia."