---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 11:46:14 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: Ex-Black Panther says murder trial is FBI conspiracy
Ex-Black Panther says murder trial is FBI conspiracy
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Wednesday January 9, 2002
A murder trial under way in Atlanta, Georgia, has rekindled memories of one
of the most turbulent periods of American racial politics, with the
accused - a former leading figure of the Black Panthers - claiming to be the
victim of an FBI witch-hunt.
Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, 58, a Muslim cleric, was better known as "H Rap
Brown" in the 1960s when he was one of the firebrands in the Black Panthers.
The shortlived movement challenged the police and played a leading part in
the black power movement.
Mr al-Amin was a leading member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee and was active in the registration of black voters in the 1960s.
Now he faces a possible death penalty after the fatal shooting of a
sheriff's deputy in Atlanta in March 2000.
Two deputies, Ricky Kinchen and Aldranon English, went to Mr al-Amin's house
to serve him with a summons for some minor motoring charges and an
accusation of impersonating a police officer. The visit came after he had
failed to attend a court hearing.
Both deputies were shot in an exchange of gunfire. Kinchen, who was black,
later died. Mr English identified Mr al-Amin as the gunman.
The suspect was found four days later in woods near a small town in Alabama
where he had helped to register voters in the 1960s. Police say the weapon
used in the fatal shooting was found nearby.
The prosecution says that this is a straightforward case: Mr al-Amin was
identified by one of his victims and the weapon used in the shooting was
found near him.
But the defendant told the New York Times from prison that the charges
resulted from the FBI's determination to jail him. "They still fear a
personality, a character coming up among African-Americans who could
galvanise support among all the different elements of the African-American
community... They are trying to crush Islam before it realises its own worth
and strength," he said.
He said the events of September 11 made it hard for him to receive a fair
As H Rap Brown, Mr al-Amin allegedly incited a riot at Cambridge, Maryland
in 1967. He went into hiding afterwards and was placed on the FBI's
most-wanted list before being arrested again.
In 1971 he was convicted of taking part in a New York robbery and served
five years in jail, where he converted to Islam and changed his name. On
release he moved to Atlanta and founded a mosque.
His case begins as another political figure from the era is awaiting the
conclusion of hers. Sara Jane Olson, who pleaded guilty last year to
involvement in the placing of a pipe-bomb under a police car in Los Angeles
in the 1970s will be sentenced on January 18.
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