The Eyewitness


Robert Chobert

Robert Chobert, age 22, was a cab driver who had just let out a fare. He was filling out his logbook and was parked directly behind Officer Faulkner’s patrol car, just two car lengths away from where he fell. Only five minutes after the shooting, Robert Chobert made an in-person identification of Jamal as the killer as Jamal sat in the back of a police wagon. Chobert was then transported to the Police Administration Building, arriving there at 4:15 AM, where he gave a formal statement just 35 minutes after the murder:

I was writing down on a pad how much my fare was. Then I heard a shot. I looked up and I saw a cop who was on the pavement next to his car, his car was parked a little in front of my car. I saw the cop fall to the ground when I looked up and I saw this black male stand over the cop and shoot him a couple of more times. Then I saw the black male start running towards 12th St. He didn’t get very far, maybe thirty or thirty-five steps and then he fell. I got out of my cab and started walking over to the cop. When I got up to him all of the sudden all of the cops came and told me to get back. Then I got back in my cab and I was getting ready to leave, but they had me blocked in.

Chobert Statement, 4:25 AM, 12/9/81

Jamal was found sitting on the curb with his gun on the ground beside him, in the exact spot that Chobert said the killer fell.

Chobert further stated that there was a second man at the scene — Jamal’s brother, William Cook. In his written statement to police, when asked what happened to this man. Chobert said,

“I saw another guy running, but the police got him too.”

Robert Chobert clearly stated, that both the man who killed Faulkner (Jamal) and the man who had been in front of the car with Officer Faulkner before the shooting started, (Cook) had been captured.

At the Motion to Suppress, while being questioned by Jamal — who was acting as his own attorney at the time — Chobert stated that he was certain that Jamal was the man who shot Officer Faulkner.

Jamal – “You did see the cop being shot – the man shoot the cop?”

Chobert – “Yeah, I said I did didn’t I.”

Jamal – “Well, you sure did. And you saw me in the back of the wagon didn’t you?”

Chobert – “Yes, I did.”

Jamal – “What made you certain it [I] was the same man?”

Chobert – “Because I saw you, buddy. I saw you shoot him.”

Jamal – “You saw me-“

Chobert – I saw you shoot him, and I never took my eyes off you until you got in the back of the wagon.

N.T. 6/2/82, 2.74-5

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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.