Myth # 15

Some of Jamal’s more blindly zealous supporters suggest that the “real killer’s” driver’s license was found in Officer Faulkner’s front pants pocket the morning he was murdered. They speculate that this license belonged to the “phantom shooter” allegedly seen running away from the scene by 4 alleged eyewitnesses before police arrived. (For more on the “Running Man” see Myth #2)
To support their assertion, Jamal’s attorneys called Arnold Howard to testify at the 1995 PCRA hearing. Howard claimed that several days prior to Officer Faulkner’s murder, he had loaned his drivers license to his friend Kenneth Freeman. Mr. Howard acknowledged that he and Freeman were “lifelong friends” of both William Cook and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Based on this testimony, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys now assert that Kenneth Freeman was the person who shot Officer Daniel Faulkner and fled into the darkness before police arrived.

Kenneth Freeman is conveniently dead.



Once again, Jamal’s lawyers and supporters have twisted the facts to support their myth that someone — anyone — other than Jamal shot Officer Faulkner, and then ran away into the darkness before police arrived (See Myth #2). When reviewed, the record reveals that an application for a duplicate driver’s license was found in Officer Faulkner’s front pants pocket the morning he was killed. The application’s owner, Arnold Howard, a “life-long friend” of both Mumia Abu-Jamal and William Cook, told police immediately after the shooting that he had lost the application in William Cook’s car weeks before the shooting. He stated that at no time had he sought to recover the missing application. Howard also produced a credible alibi (a receipt from a super market) which supported his contention that he was elsewhere at the time Officer Faulkner was shot.
Arnold Howard’s new story, claiming that he instead lent his driver’s license to Kenneth Freeman, didn’t materialize until 13 years after the killing, when he met with Jamal’s new attorneys.



Arnold Howard was admittedly a lifelong friend of Jamal. He says that he and Jamal had “gang warred together,” and that they were both members of the Black Panther Party in “about 69 or 70.” Howard is also a felon, convicted on several occasions of fraud and burglary.

Just hours after the shooting of Officer Daniel Faulkner, Howard was picked up at his mother’s home and taken to the Police Administration Building for questioning. Howard gave police a signed five-page written statement in which he stated that he had lost his application for duplicate drivers license on November 30, 1981 — 10 days before the Faulkner shooting — “in the back of William Cook’s car.” He further stated that he had not sought to recover this application from Cook at any time.

When asked what he knew about the murder of Officer Faulkner, Howard stated that he was not with William Cook or Mumia Abu-Jamal that night. He also told police that he had no information that would be of any helpful to them. Howard produced a dated and time stamped receipt from a convenience store, verifying that he was not present at the crime scene that morning. Each page of Howard’s 1981 statement was admittedly reviewed by him for accuracy and signed by him.

Then, in 1995, after meeting with Mumia Abu-Jamal’s current attorney, Leonard Weinglass, Howard — like several other defense witnesses — completely changed his story. In a sworn affidavit, admittedly written for him by Weinglass and given just days before his 1995 PCRA testimony, Howard suddenly changed his story, and asserted that he had been picked up “before dawn” the morning of the shooting and that police questioned him for “over 72 hours” without offering him food or sleep. Howard now alleges that he told police in 1981, that he “lent his driver’s license to Kenneth Freeman.” Additionally, Howard now asserts that Freeman too had been taken in for questioning the morning of the shooting. Howard claims that Freeman was prosecution eyewitness Cynthia White’s “pimp,” and that the last time he saw Freeman was in the Police Administration building that morning. Howard now claims that Freeman was found dead in 1993 or 1994, “handcuffed and shot up, with dope.”

So what’s wrong with Howard’s new testimony? Well, for starters, Jamal’s attorneys kept the existence of Arnold Howard’s new statement a secret until just hours before he testified in 1995. Howard’s new story directly contradicts his signed 1981 statement. And that’s not the only contradiction. At the 1995 PCRA hearing, the prosecution produced the logbook from the Police Administration building, which verified that on December 9, 1981, Arnold Howard signed himself in at 12:30 PM and signed himself out at 2:30 PM. An elapsed time of just 2 hours — not 72 hours, as Howard now asserts. Further, had Howard been a handcuffed prisoner, as he now claims, he would not have been allowed to walk through the front door of the PAB, and would have been unable to sign himself in or out.

In 1998, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court reviewed the facts surrounding Mr. Howard’s assertions and found his testimony not credible. Given the incredible and contradictory nature of Howard’s new account, it is apparent that he invented in 1995 for the benefit of Jamal — Howard’s lifelong friend.

Further, in his book on the case, Dan Williams, Jamal’s former lawyer, admits that it’s highly unlikely that Kenneth Freeman was the “real killer”.

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Without the support of Justice for Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, the Faulkner family – and specifically Maureen – could not afford to keep up the vigilant fight.