|California Teachers Union Supporting Convicted Cop Killer|
|posted by: Alix | April 14, 2011, 03:14 PM|
While one could find countless examples of teachers unions spending time and money on supporting causes unrelated to education, a California teachers union is under fire this week after passing a new resolution supporting a convicted cop killer from Philadelphia.
The California Federation of Teachers (CFT), an AFT affiliate, last month passed a resolution reaffirming their support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was sentenced to death in the 1982 murder of Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop. In the resolution, the CFT concludes Abu-Jamal's trial was unfair and that Abu-Jamal is a civil rights hero.
"Mumia Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial in Philadelphia was characterized by illegal suppression of evidence, police coercion, illegal exclusion of black jurors and unfair and unconstitutional rulings by the judge," the resolution reads. "Mumia Abu-Jamal has for decades as a journalist fought courageously against racism and police brutality and for the human rights of all people...the continued unjust incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents a threat to the civil rights of all people."
While convicted killer Abu-Jamal has become a folk hero of sorts, criminal experts involved in the case see it much differently.
Daniel Flynn, author of a book on the shooting, said the facts stacked against Abu-Jamal are overwhelming to say the least. "You had numerous eye witnesses seeing him actually kill the cop. He was found at the scene with his gun, registered in his own name, with five expended shells." Flynn argued that, "except on the fringes there isn't much of a debate on this guy's guilt."
CFT spokesman Fred Glass said in a statement that the group's convention is the union's highest decision making body and as such "they often pass resolutions of social and political matters."
One of the many reasons AAE was created was to be a choice for educators who believe that the NEA and AFT focus too much attention on issues outside of education. This is just one more example.
Regardless of how you feel about this case, do you find this a wise use of AFT resources?