New York’s parole board has granted the release of former Black Panther Jalil Muntaqim after he served nearly half a century in prison for the 1971 killing of two New York police officers. Sixty-eight-year-old Muntaqim became infected with COVID-19 in May. Under the terms of his parole, he must be released by October 20. The group Release Aging People in Prison said in a statement Muntaqim is “one of thousands of incarcerated older people in New York State who was repeatedly denied parole despite his excellent record. Let us hope that his release brings inspiration for more change.” In a 2018 interview, Muntaqim told filmmaker Messiah Rhodes what gives him hope.
Jalil Muntaqim: “This new generation makes me extremely hopeful. … We are finding that young people are now stepping up. And what I see, in many respects, is what was happening back in the ’60s, evolving out of the civil rights movement, where you see that level of resistance.”