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February 14, 2005
Philly Salutes Cop-Killer's French Defenders

I missed this story over the weekend, but the Environmental Republican and Michelle Malkin have called attention to it today. Philadelphia deputy director of commerce Mjenzi Traylor used the mayor's office to welcome a delegation of French politicians and activists seeking the release of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, and gave them ... liberty bells?

French politicians and activists seeking a new trial and freedom for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal were welcomed in a Friday rally at City Hall and given replicas of the Liberty Bell.

Mjenzi Traylor, the city's first deputy director of commerce, told the crowd of about 150 that he was there to "make certain that we are receiving the message that you would like for us to deliver to Mayor Street."

Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, later called that greeting an "absolute outrage."

In what had to be a lesson in politics that Traylor failed to understand, Mayor Street suddenly became unavailable after scheduling the meeting with the delegation, passing the buck to Traylor. Traylor initially intended on meeting the French in his own office privately, but when they arrived with demonstrators, Traylor grandstanded by holding court publicly and handing out the Liberty bells.

Perhaps Traylor can make the excuse that he was doing his job by extending a courtesy to visiting dignitaries, but Philadelphia residents may not buy that -- especially since the visiting dignitaries replied with outrageous discourtesy:

"We welcome you to Philadelphia," said Traylor, who serves as the city's international liaison for visiting dignitaries. "Thank you very much for coming."

Jacques Daguenet, a city councilman from Paris, then decried what he called Abu-Jamal's "racist trial." Paris made Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen in 2003.

"He is the voice of people who have nothing," Daguenet said. "We have to struggle to have him free."

Majid Wannass, a deputy for the mayor of Saint Denis, just outside of Paris, drew cheers when he told the crowd his town would rename a street for Abu-Jamal.

That will cross the Rue Charles Manson, bordered by the Avenue Richard Speck and Boulevard Kathleen Soliah, er, Sarah Jane Olson. It's quite an appropriate theme for a city whose government once allowed the 20th century's worst criminals to cart off the Jews of Paris (and most of the rest of France) for extermination. Does Paris have a Rue Klaus Barbie as well?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 14, 2005 7:51 PM

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» With bells on from TigerHawk
I know nothing about the merits of the Abu-Jamal trial or whether justice was done. (There's a lot of stuff here that suggests it was.) I do know that the mayor of Philadelphia owes it to its cops -- not just Daniel Faulkner, but all its cops -- to r... [Read More]

Tracked on February 14, 2005 10:52 PM

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