Mumia-Faulkner 30th anniversary spark protests
PHILADELPHIA - December 9, 2011 Two opposing protests converged in Center City Friday night. It is one case that has divided and angered so many. Friday night, the National Constitution Center was standing room only as hundreds marked the 30th anniversary of Mumia Abu Jamal's arrest for the killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. "The fact that he's behind bars for so long without the proper conviction process being held," said Candice Benford. "I believe in the cause, and I believe in fighting injustices," said Tarisse Iriarte. Inside the room, Abu Jamal's supporters who have called his incarceration racial injustice reinvigorated their movement by listening to speakers. Motorcyclists from different biker groups roared and revved their engines outside as they rallied for the slain officer and against the man they believe should die for killing him. A federal appeals court found Abu Jamal's death sentence unconstitutional and District Attorney Seth Williams decided not to pursue a new death penalty phase trial. "We're just showing our support to an officer that was killed in cold blood by a murderer, who is still alive today, who shouldn't be on this earth anymore," said Brian Thomas. More than 100 bikers could be seen from Chopper 6 circling the block; outraged that they event was held at the Constitution Center. "These people are anarchist. They don't believe in the rule of law," said Bill Walls. Those inside turned their backs to the protest. "Those people out there kind of made me laugh," said Sue Kelly. "I think they thought that they were making so much noise, they would disrupt our program. But they didn't realize that this place is pretty sound proof."