Mumia Abu-Jamal Releases New Prison Radio Commentary on Walter Scott Shooting (Heinz Leitner)

Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spoken out from a prison infirmary about the police killing of Walter Scott in South Carolina. Abu-Jamal, who is seriously ill at SCI Mahanoy, rose from his infirmary bed to record the commentary after a fellow prisoner wheeled in a TV so he could watch coverage of the shooting. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we air an excerpt from Abu-Jamal’s Prison Radio commentary about Michael Slager, the now-fired police officer who shot Scott during a traffic stop. „Is he a punk? A predator?“ Abu-Jamal asks. „Or what Huey P. Newton called ‚a pig‘?“ Abu-Jamal’s supporters say he remains severely ill after he was hospitalized recently for diabetic shock. Today his supporters have called a national day of action with protests in 10 cities to demand he be allowed to see a diabetes specialist. Abu-Jamal is in prison for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, but has always maintained his innocence. Amnesty International has found he was deprived of a fair trial.

TRANSCRIPT:

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spoken out from a prison infirmary about the police killing of Walter Scott in South Carolina. Abu-Jamal, who is seriously ill at SCI Mahanoy, rose from his infirmary bed to record the commentary after a fellow prisoner wheeled in a TV so he could watch coverage of the shooting. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, Mumia Abu-Jamal discussed his reaction.

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: Remember the young man who allegedly shot – not killed – two cops in Ferguson several weeks ago? Every politician in America leaped at the chance to call the kid a punk, a thug. Now, what do you call Slager? What have you heard? Even though he’s been fired, he’s called „officer“ today, or „Mr. Slager.“ He killed a man for a traffic citation and lied about it. Is he a punk, a predator, or what Huey P. Newton used to call, a pig? From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

AMY GOODMAN: And special thanks to Noelle Hanrahan of the Prison Radio Project for the recording of that commentary. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s supporters say he remains severely ill after he was hospitalized for diabetic shock. Today his supporters have called a national day of action with protests in 10 cities to demand he be allowed to see a diabetes specialist. Mumia Abu-Jamal is in prison for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, but has always maintained his innocence. Amnesty International has found he was deprived of a fair trial.

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Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its „Pick of the Podcasts,“ along with NBC’s Meet the Press.