March 06, 2014

Steve Pomper

Yes, Mr. President, there is a travesty here.

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If one ever wonders where President Obama stands on a particular issue, or topic, in general, in his heart, one need only look to whom he nominates for important government positions and to his comments regarding the issues surrounding these nominations.

The Senate today showed a rare sanity while under Harry Reid’s thumb, today when several Democrats broke rank and voted to block Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Shame on all of the senators who voted for this ill-considered nomination.

The controversy surrounding Mr. Adegbile comes from his having represented convicted cop-killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and having kept him from the noose, electric chair, or lethal injection he most certainly warranted. A jury found Abu-Jamal guilty of, as several witnesses to the crime testified, running up on Officer Daniel Faulkner while the officer was conducting a “routinetraffic stop and shooting the officer in the back. After the officer shot back and then fell to the ground, grievously wounded, Abu-Jamal walked over and shot the helpless twenty-five year old officer again, in the chest and face.

President Obama, in a written statement, wrote, “The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justiceand those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”

This is not a matter of “solelyrepresenting an accused defendant, to which everyone has a right. Even John Adams defended the British Soldiers accused of murder after what came to be known as, “The Boston Massacre.” Adegbile’s defense bled over to advocacy when decades after Abu-Jamal had been duly convicted and sentenced, he elected to assist this murderer further, including getting his death sentence overturned.

What strikes me most, as a police officer, is the President’s comments following Addgbile’s defeat. As with his comments following the incident involving Harvard Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates that the Cambridge Police, “acted stupidly,” Mr. Obama tells us much about his core beliefs.

Similarly, following Adegbile’s defeat, and ignoring the massive opposition by law enforcement across America, from the officer or deputy on the street all the way up to the nation’s police chiefs and sheriffs, law enforcement organizations, and police unions, Mr. Obama called the vote a, “travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”

We all make choice in life for which we may one day have to account. Adegbile chose to defend, not a defendant whose innocence is rightly presumed, but an already convicted cop-killer whose guilt a jury had pronounced and whose sentence a state Supreme Court had upheld before it was overturned. That, in and of itself, was another shameful–I’ll use the President’s wordstravesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. His name was Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.


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