Justice or “Just Us”: Which Will Prevail in the Imam Jamil al-Amin Trial?

America’s mainstream media has become more overtly biased and subjective in it’s coverage than ever before. This is due largely in part to the tragic loss of innocent life on September 11th and the calculated results that the Zionist criminals who macro-managed these attacks hoped for. In the media blitz of sorrow and fear, of patriotism and blind allegiance, and of misplaced hatred and suspicion of Muslims, the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of Muslim victims of state terrorism has gone largely un-reported. So it comes as no surprise that the case of Imam Jamil al-Amin, the 57yr old leader of Atlanta’s Community Mosque and member of the National Majlis Ashura is obscured in the fog of the current media circus.

If Allah permits, on January 7th, 2002 opening statements will be heard in the much anticipated trial of one of this nation’s most courageous Muslim leaders. The teams of prosecutors and defense attorneys, the witnesses, and the galvanizing of both supporters of Imam Jamil as well as those who have historically held enmity towards him and actively sought his demise are just a sampling of the many forces that are poised and ready to converge on an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom. Some perhaps will be seeking the right answer to the question that has evaded so many: Is justice truly blind or is justice for “just us” and not for those who aren’t like us.

If ever there was a reason for Muslims in America to emerge from their self-imposed shell and stand out firmly for justice it is this case. In Imam Jamil we have one of Allah’s devoted servants and a veteran of the struggle for the rights of oppressed people that has spanned over four decades. There isn’t a person of color in this country that doesn’t owe a debt of gratitude to this brother for his efforts in the campaign for civil and human rights in the 1950’s and 60’s. Muslims, especially immigrants and their descendants, who today openly profess and practice their religion benefitted tremendously from this campaign as well. Every Imam in this country who has an ounce of courage should be working in some capacity with others for the release of Imam Jamil. The least that the believer can do is to learn the details of this case and include this brother in your prayers.

The Crime

On the night of March 16, 2000, two Fulton County sheriff’s deputies went to Atlanta’s West End neighborhood to serve Imam Jamil Al-Amin with a misdemeanor warrant and were gunned down by someone in the process. One of the deputies, Ricky Kinchen died as a result of the shooting. His partner, Deputy Aldranon English, survived the shooting and will undoubtedly be a key witness in the capital trial.

The Confession

On April 13, 2000, three weeks after Imam Jamil is taken into custody by Alabama authorities, a man bearing a striking resemblance to him is extradited from Georgia to Nevada where he is held by police. The man, Otis Jackson had “absconded supervision”, a violation of his parole. Nevada documents show that as he was being booked, “Jackson indicated to the officer that he had been involved in a shooting/murder of an officer when he was in Georgia.”

The Evidence

Deputy English, the officer who survived his wounds, said: “My mom always told me, ‘Look a man in his eye, always look a man in his eyes,’ So I remember ’cause I was looking at him in his eyes. … I remember them gray eyes.” Imam Jamil’s eyes are dark brown.

Before he succumbed to his fatal injuries, Deputy Kinchen told his fellow officers and anyone within hearing distance that he was sure that he fired at and wounded his assailant, saying: “I shot him. I know I shot him”. When he was taken into custody by Federal agents, Imam Jamil had no wounds.

At least one deputy swears he saw blood on the ground where the alleged shooter stood in front of a grocery store owned by Imam Jamil Al-Amin. Whose blood was it? Imam Jamil had no wounds.

Police radio dispatch records show that officers who rushed to the scene were following a trail of fresh blood to an abandoned house a block away. Whose blood was it? Imam Jamil had no wounds.

The Conspiracy

Some, even amongst Muslim leadership, suggest that Imam Jamil’s claim that “It’s a government conspiracy” is indicative of one who is behind the times. They declare that COINTELPRO and other government schemes to “misdirect, discredit, disrupt and otherwise neutralize ” targeted groups and individuals are from the past and simply no longer exist. These are the kinds of naive idealists who bought Bush’s idea of “kinder, gentler” nation and sat with him in a sacrilegious iftaar while his policies which terrorize Muslims around the globe continued unabated. These are the naive one’s who see Ashcroft, Ridge and Rumsfeld as our ‘friends and protectors’ rather than the dajjalic agents and usurpers of civil liberties that they truly are.

Not surprisingly so, It didn’t take long to uncover the Federal Government’s role in this case. In pre-trial hearings, the prosecutor, his case weakened and in danger of crumbling to pieces even before trial, looked to the FBI to bail him out and help build his case against Imam Jamil. The prosecutor was actually quite frustrated by the Federal government’s attempt to hide its role in this case. They did not want to reveal the fact that they have informants planted very close to Imam Jamil. After some crafty maneuvering by Imam Jamil’s attorneys, FBI agents were forced to admit that they had an electronic tracking device attached to Imam Jamil’s vehicle prior to March 16, 2000 the night of the shooting. What is the evidence that the Federal Government has been and is now trying to neutralize Imam Jamil al-Amin?

Informants are the most valued resource of organizations like the FBI, CIA and ATF. Those informants who possess the skill and nerve can be dispatched as “agent provocateurs”. Otis Jackson has all of the traits of the consummate provocateur. He could have been used to provoke a rogue act and give cover for authorities to move in for a kill or a means of framing an individual and imprisoning him. Emad Salem, the government’s key witness and FBI paid informant in the first World Trade Center bombing was such a provocateur. A closer examination of the facts in the Oklahoma bombing case reveals the presence of at least one agent provocateur as well.

COINTELPRO files show how local police officers were used as proxy to carry out assassinations and intimidation of targets. Given the track record of drug-dealing officers and “hired assassins” on the various Atlanta-area police forces it is not unreasonable to expect that Imam Jamil al-Amin and his West End Community Masjid had many enemies amongst uniformed law enforcement. When the Muslims moved into the West End neighborhood it was over run with open-air drug dealing and prostitution. Eventually, the drugs and other vices were completely eradicated from the area. The non-Muslim neighbors in West End were and continue to be grateful for Imam Jamil and his followers. By confronting the negative element in the community and policing the neighborhood at night, the Muslims of the West End were able to do what the local police were unwilling to do. Afterall, these police, whom after their shift was over, retreated to plush suburban neighborhoods, were the beneficiaries of the drugs and vice in the West End neighborhood.

Many police officers have long admired and shown appreciation for the work and development of community that Imam Jamil’s leadership has produced. However there are also many who have been conditioned to treat the leadership and the Muslims in the area with contempt. During the Summer of 1992, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation taught a course at Georgia State University on “domestic terrorism”. In this course they advanced theory over evidence to depict Imam Jamil’s West End Islamic Community as a base for terrorism. What they did in effect was poison the minds of future law students and law enforcement academy candidates against the Muslims of the West End Community. In light of this kind of instruction, one question must be examined; could a few rogue local authorities have conspired with Federal authorities to frame Imam Jamil Al-Amin?

The West End Community sits in a strategically important section of town. The historical societies have began to establish their stake in the West End community. Property values are on the rise. Many of the area’s historical homes are being purchased and restored? Could depriving them of their leadership and soiling their reputation be part of a larger plan to force the Muslims out of the area? Afterall…what the Muslims did there goes against the historical trend of urban renewal. The typical pattern of urban renewal targets a neighborhood that is systematically allowed to fester and become so dilapidated that property values drop. Policing is minimized so that the area becomes so crime-ridden that the poor take whatever they can get for their homes and flee towards safer ground. This allows big business to come in, buy cheap, “renew” the area, and sell high.

The Coverup

When you re-read the articles and the police reports and all the references to blood on the scene that surfaced immediately after the shooting you can’t help but suspect a coverup. Where did all of the blood evidence go? Why suddenly the presence of blood is discounted? Because blood that disappears in thin air can’t be subjected to the scrutiny of DNA analysis and point to the real assailant; because both deputies indicated clearly that there was only one assailant; and because the one assailant that they contend is Imam Jamil al-Amin is taken into custody with no wounds.

Sgt. Scott Bennett from the homicide section of the Atlanta Police Dept.swore, in an affidavit to a judge, that there was a trail of blood in order to secure a search warrant for Imam Jamil’s grocery store. He later admitted that he lied on the affidavit. Did he actually lie or did the fact that Imam Jamil was arrested with no wounds necessitate that the blood evidence be destroyed?

Although presiding judge Stephanie Manis issues an order to preserve all evidence, the order is mysteriously devoid of the “teeth” of sanctions or other punitive measures for violating the order. Law enforcement officials take full advantage of this opportunity to tamper with evidence. The squad car that Deputy Kinchen drove the night of the shooting is, not towed, but actually driven back to the maintenance warehouse by a detention officer who testifies in pre-trial hearings that while there was no damage to the car when it was released to Deputy Kinchen he did notice a bullet lodged in the driver’s side front wheel and another in the driver’s side headlight. The squad car has since been repaired and is currently back in service. What happened to the damaged parts? Thanks to a gratuitous court order with no teeth, they have been conveniently reported by the authorities as “lost”. Another vehicle that was abandoned and parked adjacent to where the shooting occurred on the night of March 16, 2000, was towed away allegedly because of expired tags. The officer who facilitated the vehicle confiscation noted body damage “all over”. That vehicle has been added to the growing list of tampered and lost evidence as well.

Despite the numerous cases of blatant evidence tampering, Judge Manis has refused to penalize the prosecution and entertain any relevant stipulations made by the defense. Judge Manis has also ruled in favor of the prosecution on what is obviously an attempt to paint Imam Jamil as a composite of a radical Black Panther and mythological “Godfather” figure by allowing the prosecution to quote passages from books he authored (one prior to reverting to Islam). These quotes will undoubtedly be taken out of context and specifically arranged to maximize stereotypical impact with the jury.

Many questions are unanswered regarding the way in which the confession of Otis Jackson was handled by FBI authorities in Nevada. Otis Jackson first confesses to the shooting to Nevada Prison officials on April 13, 2000. Why for instance does the FBI question Otis Jackson in the presence of two Las Vegas police officers on June 29th while Georgia authorities on the scene of the alleged crime, are not notified about the existence of a confession until another 25 or so days later? And what about the confession made to the FBI in the June 29th interview and alleged recantation two weeks later on July 13? Isn’t it a bit too convenient that Georgia authorities aren’t contacted until AFTER Otis Jackson recants? Why has Georgia authorities suppressed the evidence for over 6 months before Imam al-Amin’s lawyers are notified on January 19, 2001 that a written and signed statement of confession to the shooting and exoneration of their client exists?

For all intensive purposes it appears that despite earlier conflicts the local prosecutor, local law enforcement and the federal governments are all on the same page and gearing up for a full court press against Imam Jamil al-Amin. They are committed to seeing that he is convicted and put to death for these crimes. Let those of us who believe in justice meet their resolve head on. Join the campaign to free Imam Jamil al-Amin. Assist your brother in his time of need in any way that you can. Most of all. Make dua for Imam Jamil al-Amin.