CNN Host Slams College For Inviting Cop Killer To Give Commencement

Goddard College, a small liberal arts college in Vermont, has taken it upon themselves to invite convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal to speak at their fall commencement ceremony despite the tremendous outcry from the slain officer’s widow and much of the public.

While many on the left have supported Abu-Jamal, on Saturday morning CNN host Michael Smerconish slammed the college for their invitation, accusing them of “being completely ignorant in what actually happened in the case.”

After blasting those who have defended the cop killer, Smerconish painstakingly detailed the events that led to Officer Daniel Faulkner’s murder:

On December 9, 1981 at about 4:00 a.m., 25-year old Daniel Faulkner was executed while making what seemed like a routine traffic stop. Faulkner pulled over the brother of Abu-Jamal, William Cook, who was driving his car the wrong way on a one-way street. Abu-Jamal saw the police stop across the street. Four eyewitnesses testified at trial as to what happened next.

Their testimony portrayed a horrific sequence. Abu-Jamal ran across the street, shot the officer in the back and then finally between the eyes. Before that final, fatal shot, Officer Faulkner himself discharged his gun hitting Abu-Jamal in the stomach and with that bullet you could say he confirmed the identity of his executioner. When police arrived, Abu-Jamal was still wearing his shoulder holster. The murder weapon was registered to Abu-Jamal. He purchased it has a local sporting goods store.

Ballistics tests verified that the bullets found in Abu-Jamal’s gun were the same caliber, brand, type as the fatal bullet removed from the police officer's brain. Both men were taken to a local ER. Faulkner was pronounced dead. Abu-Jamal was heard by multiple witnesses to say I shot the MFer and I hope the MFer dies.

The CNN host continued by condemning celebrities who support Abu-Jamal:

His defense team attracted a long list of celebrity supporters. Ed Asner, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Farrell are among them. A street was renamed for him in France. NPR gave him his own radio show and he wrote several books. This all after he was convicted of murdering a cop.

Smerconish went on to scold colleges in the past that have invited Abu-Jamal to speak at their colleges before concluding the segment by slamming Goddard College:

Sadly, the idea that he would be a college commencement speaker is not unprecedented. It happened in 1999 in the state of Washington and in the year 2000 at a school in Ohio. I attended the second of those events with Maureen Faulkner in protest of what was taking place. And what I recall most from that experience fourteen years ago was concluding that that the students desperately wanted attention. They loved the media spectacle their invitation generated. Which is why now I will not identify the Vermont college that on Sunday will disrespect a police officer murdered in the line of duty. It’s bad enough that for 32 years Abu-Jamal has succeeded in making it all about him. 

Unfortunately, few in the liberal media have spoken out against a convicted cop killer that has been invited to speak at a college commencement. Kudos to CNN’s Michael Smerconish for denouncing Abu-Jamal’s defenders and calling out schools like Goddard College for promoting the convicted murderer.  

See relevant transcript below.

CNN’s Smerconish

October 4, 2014

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: On Sunday a college in New England that you’ve never heard of is going to celebrate commencement exercises for 20 students and they have chosen a convicted cop killer as their speaker. He’s not going to be there physically. He's serving a life sentence without parole in Pennsylvania. Instead, he’s used his telephone access to record a message. Mumia Abu-Jamal is a murderer. For years, people all over the country have taken up this killer's cause and turned him into a hero. The people appear to be completely ignorant in what actually happened in this case.

Look, in 2008, I wrote a memoir about the widow of this murdered officer, a book called “Murdered by Mumia” which was a New York Times bestseller. I accepted no proceeds from the sale of the book. But let me tell you the real story. On December 9, 1981 at about 4:00 a.m., 25-year old Daniel Faulkner was executed while making what seemed like a routine traffic stop. Faulkner pulled over the brother of Abu-Jamal, William Cook, who was driving his car the wrong way on a one-way street. Abu-Jamal saw the police stop across the street.

Four eyewitnesses testified at trial as to what happened next. Their testimony portrayed a horrific sequence. Abu-Jamal ran across the street, shot the officer in the back and then finally between the eyes. Before that final, fatal shot, Officer Faulkner himself discharged his gun hitting Abu-Jamal in the stomach and with that bullet you could say he confirmed the identity of his executioner.

When police arrived, Abu-Jamal was still wearing his shoulder holster. The murder weapon was registered to Abu-Jamal. He purchased it has a local sporting goods store. Ballistics tests verified that the bullets found in Abu-Jamal’s gun were the same caliber, brand, type as the fatal bullet removed from the police officer's brain. Both men were taken to a local ER. Faulkner was pronounced dead. Abu-Jamal was heard by multiple witnesses to say I shot the MFer and I hope the MFer dies.

So the case had eyewitnesses, a ballistics match and a confession. Danny Faulkner left behind a young widow, Maureen, who for three decades has had to stand up to a torrent of lies and information, misinformation about the case. And for reasons that have never made sense, Abu-Jamal has been championed the world over by death penalty opponents. Whenever I’m educating someone about the case,  in addition to what I've already told you I always like to point one fact. Abu-Jamal’s brother, William Cook, he saw it all. His words to police upon their arrival were “I ain't got nothing do with it.” And he's never testified on his brother's behalf.

Let me say that again. The brother of the man convicted of killing the cop has himself never taken to the stand to tell a different story and he was there. In 1982, a multiracial jury heard the case. They convicted Abu-Jamal and sentenced him to death. For a quarter-century an endless cycle of Abu-Jamal appeals made a mockery of the judicial system. His defense team attracted a long list of celebrity supporters. Ed Asner, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Farrell are among them. A street was renamed for him in France. NPR gave him his own radio show and he wrote several books. This all after he was convicted of murdering a cop.

Now back at home in Philadelphia Abu-Jamal was never able to cultivate community support except from some fringe types. People at home they know what happened, they don't buy into the Hollywood lure. In 2011, Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was ultimately overturned on a technicality. He is currently serving life without parole. Abu-Jamal will die in jail. That is a fate more civilized than that which he offered to Danny Faulkner.

Sadly, the idea that he would be a college commencement speaker is not unprecedented. It happened in 1999 in the state of Washington and in the year 2000 at a school in Ohio. I attended the second of those events with Maureen Faulkner in protest of what was taking place. And what I recall most from that experience fourteen years ago was concluding that that the students desperately wanted attention. They loved the media spectacle their invitation generated. Which is why now I will not identify the Vermont college that on Sunday will disrespect a police officer murdered in the line of duty. It’s bad enough that for 32 years Abu-Jamal has succeeded in making it all about him.  

Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission CNN Other CNN Michael Smerconish Mumia Abu-Jamal

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