It’s been a long time since it happened, but I can tell you this much: None of the local reporters I knew ever believed Mumia was innocent of the shooting of Daniel Faulkner. Not one. (Now, there are the kind of reporters who believe everything a cop tells them, but they were never the kind of people I was friendly with.)
Reporters gossip. But I never heard one inkling, one rumor, anywhere, that Mumia was framed.
What I did hear was that the local chapter of Amnesty International was pretty pissed off when the international organization declared Mumia a political prisoner, and filed a protest. Because they didn’t believe he was framed, either.
Now, keep in mind there’s a culture of police brutality in Philadelphia. And there were plenty of irregularities with the evidence in Mumia’s trial, but here’s the thing: Those irregularities are common in Philadelphia trials. Activists want to make them more meaningful then they might have been, I think.
Did cops lie, or fabricate evidence? From what I know of cops, it’s almost a given. I mean, we’re talking about a dead cop here. But does that mean Mumia is innocent? One thing doesn’t equate to the other.
I always found it significant that I’ve never seen any public interest in this case from indigenous black Philadelphians (or white ones, for that matter). The black community is not known to be shy about this stuff, so why the silence? Maybe they know something we don’t.
In any event, I wasn’t there that night and I have no way of knowing for sure that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot Officer Daniel Faulkner. But neither do any of the people who are defending Mumia.