What to Know
The widow of a slain Philly officer is accusing the city's DA of lying to her about appealing the case of her husband's convicted killer.
Last week, DA Larry Krasner withdrew his appeal of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner.
NBC10 spoke to Faulkner's widow, Maureen Faulkner, and also received a statement from Krasner's office.
The widow of a slain Philadelphia police officer is accusing the city’s district attorney of lying to her about appealing the case of her husband’s convicted killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
“DA Larry Krasner is deceitful and lied to me and I am going to speak out in the city of Philadelphia,” Maureen Faulkner told NBC10 Tuesday.
Abu-Jamal, a 64-year-old activist and former Black Panther, is serving life in prison after spending decades on death row in the 1981 killing of Officer Daniel Faulkner during a traffic stop.
A city judge granted him a new hearing in December after the U.S. Supreme Court said a former Pennsylvania justice who heard his appeal had a potential conflict of interest in a similar case.
District Attorney Larry Krasner initially fought the hearing, fearing the judge’s order could affect a large number of other convictions.
Maureen Faulkner said she asked Krasner last week if he had made up his mind when it came to Abu-Jamal’s appeal.
“He said nothing to me,” Maureen Faulkner said. “In fact my niece was on the phone and said, ‘Larry, it sounds like you already made your decision.' He said, ‘No, I did not make my decision.'”
Faulkner claimed she found out from a reporter the next day that Krasner’s office was withdrawing its appeal in the case.
“I was crying so hard I couldn’t even see the road,” she said. “I had to pull over. I was hysterical. It was just so shocking that he would do something like this. And if he’s gonna do it to me he’s gonna do it to other people. And that’s why I’m speaking out.”
A spokesperson for Krasner told NBC10 they withdrew their appeal of the case after the court resolved a technical issue about how the judge’s ruling impacted unrelated cases.
“The decision to withdrawal does not free Mr. Abu-Jamal or grant him a new trial,” the spokesperson wrote.
The spokesperson said Krasner as well as two senior lawyers handling the case spoke with Maureen Faulkner personally one day prior to the appeal being withdrawn. He also said she was notified the next day in writing when it formally occurred.
“We continue to offer our sympathies to the Faulkner family,” the spokesperson wrote. “Despite passions running high on all sides of the case, (we are frequently protested by both pro- and anti-Mumia groups) the office will continue to follow the facts and the law in this and every case that comes before us for consideration.”
Maureen Faulkner was one of hundreds of people who attended a Fraternal Order of Police-hosted rally in Northeast Philadelphia early Tuesday evening in support of local officers and victims of violence.
“Our criminals are attacking people and the survivors, they have to live with it for the rest of their lives,” she said. “[Krasner is] doing these plea deals where he’s letting people out in eight, ten years. What about the people that have lost their loved ones?”
Faulkner said the rally wasn’t just about her husband’s murder but all crime victims and survivors who accused Krasner of treating them unfairly.
“He frightens me about the plea bargains he’s giving criminals and he’s bringing the city down,” she said. “I feel tonight, we need to be united. All of us need to be united against him.”