2 new films highlight Faulkner, Mumia controversy

CENTER CITY - September 21, 2010 Mumia Abu Jamal, North Philadelphia native and former local radio reporter, is now known across the world. Many people consider him a cold-blooded cop killer but some believe he was railroaded by a racist justice system in Philadelphia.

From death row he has claimed his innocence for nearly 30 years. He was convicted of the December 1981 murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner during a confrontation at 13th and Locust Streets.

"The Barrel of a Gun" premiered at the Merriam Theater. It's a documentary raising the possibility that the cop killing was a premeditated ambush set up by Jamal who is a former Black Panther and MOVE sympathizer.

The Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed the film and paid tribute to producer Tigre Hill.

"I hope this film will finally answer some questions and put some mistruths to rest about this case," said Hill.

"It is a very, very moving movie. For the first time in 30 years I heard Danny's actual voice and it was the last words that he spoke before he was murdered," said Maureen Faulkner, Dan's widow.

And at the Ritz East in Society Hill was the film "Justice on Trial" it's the challenge to Hill's film.

The production argues that Abu-Jamal deserves a new trial because of alleged suppression of evidence.

"We have a situation in Philadelphia which the Fraternal Order of Police has influenced the public debate and discussion around this case and it's unclear what's fact, what's fiction and what's ideological propaganda and manipulation," explained filmmaker Johanna Fernandez.

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