“Mumia has been in prison longer than I have been alive,” Kaepernick stated in a video press conference on November 16. “Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner issued a statement noting that prolonged solitary confinement, the precise type often used in the United States, amounts to psychological torture. Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent roughly 30 out of his 38 years in solitary confinement.”
It’s important to note that Mumia Abu-Jamal has always proclaimed his innocence in the shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
In collaboration with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, Kaepernick added his voice to the long list of activists who have called for Abu-Jamal’s release since his conviction in 1981, by tying the longstanding fight for his liberation to the contemporary fight to affirm Black lives matter. “If that’s truly the case then it means that Mumia’s life and legacy must matter and the causes that he sacrifices life and freedom for must matter as well,” Kaepernick stressed.
Kaepernick, who also knows about sacrifice, recently tweeted a reminder of how long he’s been off the field—“1,363 days of being denied employment,” he wrote.
In addition to Kaepernick’s virtual press conference, the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home hosted a two-and-a-half-hour-long “Freedom & Abolition: A Critical Moment in the Fight to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal” conference that brought together activists Angela Davis, Pam Africa, Johanna Fernandez, Linn Washington Jr., Kwame Ajamu, Greg Gonsalves and Dwayne Betts. Citing the 2016 United States Supreme Court ruling Williams v. Pennsylvania, which established that an official cannot be prosecutor and judge in the same case, Fernandez explained how a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge ultimately granted Abu-Jamal the right to appeal his case in 2019, only for Faulkner’s widow to file a petition in February 2020 that would intervene in the lower court’s decision.
In addition, Kwame Ajamu, who spent nearly 40-years in a Cleveland prison on a wrongful conviction until his exoneration in 2014, expressed his unwavering support of Abu-Jamal. “I think that Jamal has been so wrongly, not only in his convictions but mistreated as a human being and disrespected as a man,” Ajamu said. “I would stand behind this brother to all eternities.”