Tigre Hill is a one man machine who has something to say about the cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. He is currently editing a documentary that will be released soon that many should see. Here is the trailer:
And a good article by Amy S. Rosenberg from Philly.com about Hill and his movie:
Tigre Hill has only released the trailer to his film, The Barrel of a Gun, but already Mumia Inc. has begun mobilizing against him.
At 57th and Christian Streets, over an offering of rice and beans and salad prepared by her grandchildren, Pam Africa labels Hill an attack dog, the second coming of
Wilson Goode, and says his film will be a racist “hit piece” against Mumia Abu-Jamal.
In Germany, writer and academic Michael Schiffman spent 5,600 words aimed at debunking the 3 1/2-minute trailer in a piece that circulated widely online. Schiffman wrote that the case made in Hill’s film, at least as indicated by the trailer, “will be built on sand.”
On death row, meanwhile, former radio newsman Mumia Abu-Jamal, 55, is as close as he’s ever been to a final judgment on his original death sentence for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. The U.S. Supreme Court in April rejected a last appeal for a new trial. A petition by the Philadelphia district attorney demanding reinstatement of Abu-Jamal’s death penalty, which was thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, is pending.
But over convenience-store coffee, sitting in the backyard of his childhood home in Wynnefield where he still lives and where his film is being edited in a room upstairs, Hill is taking it all in stride in his trademark Ben Roethlisberger jersey.
He’s laid-back, naturally friendly, and comfortable in taking on the sacred cows of black political, cultural and social-justice power structures, and he’s knocking down a few assumptions himself as an African American with a love of George W. Bush and a Philly kid who roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers.~~~
His Mumia thesis is provocative: that placed in the context of prior acts by the Black Panthers, the history of political revolutionaries, various influences on Abu-Jamal’s thinking, police killings in other cities that eerily presage Faulkner’s, statements and actions Jamal had made before that night, the idea that Abu-Jamal may have set out to deliberately kill a police officer becomes chillingly plausible.~~~
Always intrigued by the case, Hill was hooked. He says he understands the impulse to defend Abu-Jamal, to see him as a victim of larger forces, especially viewed through the lens of police brutality. “You see the way his story has been manipulated,” he said. “People take him on as a hero like Che Guevara and other freedom fighters.”
Hill says his goal was not so much to take the story out of its global gauze wrap and expose it as a straightforward Philadelphia homicide, but to place it in its larger context.
Hill believes Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and MOVE supporter, was influenced by prior violence by those groups against police. The film cites tactics used by the Chicago 7 and Panther activists Bobby Seale and Huey Newton to address police brutality – in part by provoking violent encounters.
“I believe Mumia and his brother [William Cooke] had it out for cops in the area,” Hill said. “You’re talking about 13th and Locust, a seedy area. [Cooke is] driving down the street in a beat-up car, tag hanging; it’s no shock that he gets stopped. He starts a scuffle with the officer. Mumia comes running across the street. Why was he there? That’s the million-dollar question.”
William Cooke has never spoken publicly about the Faulkner killing. Hill said he had located Cooke in North Philadelphia but decided against pursuing an interview.
Joseph McGill, the trial prosecutor who has been vilified globally, says he welcomes Hill’s analysis. McGill never established a motive, but believes the encounter between Faulkner and Mumia was set up as a political or revolutionary act.
“That’s why I am very anxious to see this film,” said McGill. “I was aware at the time of Jamal’s affiliation with MOVE, aware of Bobby Seale Chicago 7 tactics. I was not aware of the really in-depth history regarding all of the movements.”
“I have confidence in Tigre’s analysis and his really authentic research,” he said. “I’ve often stated that the further you get from Philadelphia, the less clear the entire case becomes.”
The movie is set to come out on the anniversary of the killing, December 9th.