Cynthia White’s 1982 Testimony

Cynthia White testified for nearly two full days in 1982, much of it consisting of lengthy cross-examination by Anthony Jackson. Hour after hour, Jackson questioned White about hair splitting minutiae concerning her statements and her testimony. Jackson was especially interested in attacking White’s character, highlighting her many past arrests for prostitution, and striving to imply that she must have made some kind of “deal” with the prosecutor or the police. White repeatedly denied having accepted any such deal. The jury had the last word on Ms. White’s credibility, and the mesh between the details of her account and those of the other eyewitnesses, as well as the physical evidence, was irrefutable.


Cynthia White testified:

The policeman got out of the car and walked over — started walking over towards the Volkswagen. The driver of the Volkswagen got out of the car. A few words passed. They both walked between the police car and the Volkswagen up to the sidewalk. A few words passes again between them. The driver of the Volkswagen then struck the police officer with a closed fist to his cheek, and the police turned the driver of the Volkswagen around in a position to handcuff him.

I looked across the street in the parking lot and I noticed he [Jamal] was running out of the parking lot and he was practically on the curb when he shot two times at the Police Officer. It was in the back. The Police Officer turned around and staggered and seemed like he was grabbing for something. Then he fell. Then he [Jamal] came on top of the Police Officer and shot some more times. After that he went over and he slouched down and he sat on the curb.

N. T. 6/25/82, 8.75-7

White also said that Officer Faulkner had his back turned as Jamal approached, and that Jamal was very close to Faulkner when he first shot him in the back:

McGill: How many times did you see him shoot at the police officer?

White: Two.

McGill: And then at that time, where was the police officer’s back in relation to the man who was running across the street?

White: His back was facing him.

McGill: Indicating for the record pointing to the defendant, Mr. Jamal. And how close did he get to the defendant — how close did the defendant get to the police officer when you heard those shots or saw those shots?

White: I’m not good at feet, but it wasn’t too far away. It was very close.

N. T. 6/21/82, 4.99

As in her original statement, and as did Robert Chobert, Cynthia White told the jury that she watched Mumia Abu-Jamal slump down on the curb after he shot Officer Faulkner in the face.

McGill: Now Miss White, after the defendant shot the Police Officer when he was on the ground, what did he do then?

White: He went over and slumped down on the curb.

N.T. 6/21/82, 4.105

Cynthia White unequivocally identified Mumia Abu-Jamal as the man she saw shoot Officer Daniel Faulkner, explaining that, immediately after the shooting, she had walked towards the two men and had come within a few feet of them (N. T. 6/21/82, 4.105-108).

As did the other eyewitness, Cynthia White further confirmed that Jamal violently resisted as the police attempted to take him into custody.

White: They took him to the wagon. When they approached him and they went over to him he was swinging his arms and kicking, and they was trying to get him under control to handcuff him.

N.T. 6/21/82, 4.109

– – – – –

Jackson: Before we get back to the specifics of your statement — did you see Mr. Jamal beaten that night?

White: What I seen was Jamal sitting on the curb, swinging his arms with closed fists and kicking, and the police swinging back and trying to get him under control to handcuff him.

N.T. 6/21/82, 4.149


Albert Magilton

Albert Magilton was a pedestrian who was walking across 13th and Locust Street. Mr. Magilton was standing near Michael Scanlan’s car, roughly 100 feet from the shooting. Magilton stated that he watched the entire scene unfold before him, and noted Jamal “running from the parking lot towards Officer Faulkner with one arm raised in a shooting fashion.” He looked away only for a moment to avoid an oncoming car. While his head was turned he heard shots. When he looked again, Officer Faulkner was no longer standing. Within minutes Magilton had identified Jamal to police on the scene as “the man he had seen running from the parking lot with his arm raised.”

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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.