- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

PHILADELPHIA (AP) To the strains of bagpipes, a bronze plaque was dedicated yesterday on the spot where police Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal 20 years ago.
Abu-Jamal was convicted of first-degree murder in the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting death and sentenced to death. The Abu-Jamal case has become an international cause celebre, and his numerous appeals have stalled the execution.
The slain officer's widow, Maureen Faulkner, watched tearfully as the plaque was revealed. She was the first of many people to place a white carnation on it.
"It was 20 years ago today that our lives were changed forever," Mrs. Faulkner told a crowd of several hundred. "I know Danny would be proud."
The somber plaque dedication was in stark contrast to the angry demonstration by Abu-Jamal's supporters at City Hall on Saturday. Seven protesters were arrested later and accused of rioting and assaulting police.
Carrying signs and chanting slogans, the Abu-Jamal protesters called the former Black Panther a political prisoner and demanded his release.
"This is a struggle for all political prisoners," demonstrator Ramona Africa said Saturday. "This is a struggle for justice."
Justice was also on the minds of the people attending yesterday's dedication.
"I pity the people who support him because they are uninformed," said Mrs. Faulkner. Abu-Jamal "murdered my husband."
Maureen Faulkner had been married only a year when her 25-year-old husband was killed.
On Dec. 9, 1981, Officer Faulkner spotted Abu-Jamal's brother, William Cook, driving the wrong way down a one-way street and pulled him over. A scuffle ensued and Abu-Jamal, who was sitting in his taxicab across the street, ran over.
Abu-Jamal drew his .38-caliber revolver and fired, hitting the officer five times, including once in the face. Officer Faulkner was able to hit Abu-Jamal in the chest.
Faulkner supporters set up a scholarship fund to help children whose parents were the victims of violent crime. At yesterday's dedication, Mrs. Faulkner presented $5,000 scholarships to two persons whose parents were killed in a store holdup last year.
"I feel very sorry for Daniel Faulkner and his wife," said Dana Dutch, a 20-year-old community college student whose father was killed. "I know what it is like to lose someone."
Charles Ritterson, 17, whose mother was killed in the same holdup, also thanked Mrs. Faulkner for her support.

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