[sixties-l] more on H. Rap Brown

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Jun 30 2000 - 19:51:24 CUT

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      Via Workers World News Service
      Reprinted from the June 29, 2000
      issue of Workers World newspaper


      By S. Tomlinson

      Prosecutors in the case against Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin,
    formerly H. Rap Brown, have apparently made up
    their minds as to his guilt--and nothing, not even evidence
    suggesting another suspect altogether, can change their

      Not only do the authorities know of other evidence and
    yet continue to pursue Al-Amin, who they accuse of the
    shooting death of one sheriff's deputy and the wounding of
    another. They are actually continuing this pursuit to the
    maximum extent allowed by the law: the death penalty.

      On May 31, a Superior Court judge held Fulton County
    Sheriff Jackie Barrett in contempt of court for
    violating a court order prohibiting the release of evidence in
    the case. Barrett made public tapes of Sheriff's
    Department radio traffic from the night Deputy Ricky Kinchen
    and his partner Aldranon English were shot. The judge
    assigned no penalty to Barrett, however, saying that the
    sheriff did not willfully intend to violate the court order.

      Barrett maintained she only released the tapes in
    order to comply with open records laws. Whatever her
    intention, Barrett's actions made available new details in a
    case filled with questionable evidence and media
    distortions. The newly released tapes only strengthen the
    argument that authorities are trying to frame Al-Amin.

      On the night of the shooting, the two deputies
    were in the West End neighborhood of Atlanta to serve
    Al-Amin a warrant for failure to appear--a relatively minor
    and non-violent offense. Al-Amin is respected in the
    neighborhood for his efforts to rid the area of drug dealers.
    He was also the Imam, or prayer leader, of the community

      The picture of what happened on the night of March
    16 is still blurry. But it is becoming clearer with each
    passing week. At the time of the shooting, Deputy English
    radioed that shots had been fired and Kinchen was down.

      That night English stated that he had shot and wounded the
    suspect. In the days after the shooting, there was
    much media attention to this detail, and to the
    appearance of a fresh blood trail a few blocks from the scene.

      Once Al-Amin was in custody and it became apparent
    that he was uninjured, the blood trail was dismissed as
    unrelated to the case. If authorities admitted that the blood trail
    were relevant, that admission would tear at the very
    fabric of their case against Al-Amin as the shooter.

      The release of the tapes from the night of the
    shootings has brought new information to light. Minutes
    after English's first radio call, a man was seen five
    blocks from the scene. According to police records,
    someone called 911 and reported an injured man near the
    scene of the shootings.The dispatcher's log reads, "Caller
    advises perp in a vacant building on Westview bleeding
    begging for a ride."

      Atlanta police have not commented on this new detail. Nor
    have they provided any further information about
    the bleeding man or the 911 caller. Authorities had released
    tapes of 911 reports from callers about the wounded officers.
    But the call about the bleeding man was not released.

      Al-Amin's defense lawyers will certainly question the
    identity and whereabouts of this bleeding person.
    Al-Amin's only statement to the media thus far came shortly
    after being placed in custody in Alabama before being
    sent back to Atlanta. He called the case a "government
    conspiracy" against him.

      The knowledge that authorities have charged Al-Amin with
    murder and intend to seek the death penalty even though
    they have evidence of another suspect makes his assertion
    all the more powerful.

                               - END -
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