Thousands of people marched through downtown Los Angeles Sunday as they kicked off what will be a week of major protest here in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention. Scores of police officers in riot gear lined the streets and helicopters hovered above as marchers wound their way through the streets of LA to the Staples Center.
The marchers chanted and banged on makeshift drums as they marched, demanding a new trial for Death Row prisoner and Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. They were also demanding an end to the death penalty in the United States.
I had a chance to talk to a Los Angeles police officer, Lieutenant Don Farrel just hours before the demonstration began.
These demonstrations come as supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal have made public an amicus brief filed a few weeks ago on his behalf that uses court transcripts of his original trial and his post-conviction hearing that show that his original lawyer Anthony Jackson called for Abu Jamal to be removed from the court room and also stated in the beginning of the trial that there was no defense for Mumia. The overall purpose of the brief was to demand a new trial for Abu Jamal based on the fact that he was not granted the right to choose his counsel.
- Lieutenant Don Farrel, with the Los Angeles Police Department.
- Elliot Grossman, an LA attorney who filed the amicus brief for Mumia Abu Jamal.
- Chuck D, the founder of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. He now heads up the group Confrontation Camp.
- Audio Mix Of Mumia Abu Jamal Demonstration, produced by John Hamilton of WORT in Madison, Wisconsin.