Anthony Bottom

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Jalil Abdul Muntaqim (born Anthony Jalil Bottom on October 18, 1951) is a former member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Black Liberation Army (BLA). In August 1971, he was arrested in California along with Albert “Nuh” Washington and Herman Bell and were charged with the killing of two NYPD police officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph A. Piagentini, in New York City on May 21. In 1974, he was convicted on two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with possible parole after 22 years. Muntaqim has been the subject of attention for being repeatedly denied parole despite being eligible since 1993. In December 2018, having served 47 years, he was denied parole for the 11th time.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Jalil Muntaqim was born Anthony Jalil Bottom in Oakland, California and grew up in San Francisco. Drawn to the civil rights activism during the 1960s, Muntaqim joined and began organizing for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during his teenage years. In high school he played an active role in the Black Student Union and was often recruited to play the voice of and engage in “speak outs” on behalf of the organization. He was also involved in street protests against police brutality.[2]

At the age of 18, Muntaqim joined the Black Panther Party after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. King's assassination solidified Muntaqim's beliefs that armed resistance was necessary to combat racism and the oppression of Black individuals in society. While a member of the Black Panther Party, Muntaqim held beliefs which paralleled those of the underground faction, the Black Liberation Army, which focused on radical means of obtaining equality. Its members served as experts in military strategy and were “the essential armed wing of the above-ground political apparatus.”[2]

Arrest and conviction[edit]

On August 28, 1971, Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, and Albert “Nuh” Washington were arrested for the alleged attempted murder of a San Francisco police sergeant. New York City police charged Muntaqim, Washington, and another BPP and BLA member, Herman Bell, with the May 21, 1971, killings of two New York City police officers. The shootout came after George Jackson was killed by guards during an escape attempt in San Quentin Prison in 1971, which was the possible substantiation for a motive for retaliation.

George Jackson's lawyer Stephen Bingham was accused of arming Jackson in prison with a 9mm gun. Bingham, who was white, fled and went into exile until 1984, when he was found innocent of any wrongdoing. Who brought the hand gun to George Jackson is still up for debate but many activists still suggest foul play on the Government's side.

Muntaqim remains active in his support of political prisoners and their civil rights and means of social justice. In 1976, he founded the National Prisoners Campaign to petition the United Nations to recognize the existence of political prisoners in the United States. He is also involved in the National Prisoners Afrikan Studies Project, an organization that educates inmates on their rights.

Muntaqim and Bell remain incarcerated in New York State, while Albert Washington died of liver cancer in April 2000, in New York State’s Coxsackie Correctional Facility.

In July 2009, Muntaquim pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter becoming the second person to be convicted in the alleged attempted murder case of the San Francisco police sergeant.[3]

Parole[edit]

While some believe he should be paroled, his release is widely opposed. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently publicized his opposition to parole Muntaqim. He states: “Anthony Bottom's crime is unforgivable, and its consequences will remain forever with the families of the police officers, as well as the men and women of the New York City Police Department.”[4] Councilman Charles Barron, a self-described black revolutionary, is one of Muntaqim’s active advocates.[5]

Jalil Muntaqim had a hearing with the parole board on November 17, 2009 and was again denied parole. He remained incarcerated at Attica.[6] He was transferred from Attica Correctional Facility to Southport Correctional Facility near Elmira, New York, in early January, 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Eleventh Parole Hearing of Jalil Abdul Muntaqim". January 25, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  2. ^ a b James, Joy, ed. Imprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation and Rebellion. 1st edn. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. 2003.
  3. ^ 2nd guilty plea in 1971 killing of S.F. officer (via SFGate)
  4. ^ "Mayor Opposes Parole for Man In 1971 Killings of Two Officers".
  5. ^ "Adding Charm to Revolution; But Some Say Charles Barron Risks Going Too Far".
  6. ^ NY State Inmate locator DIN=77A4283 cut: BOTTOM

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jalil A. Muntaqim: We Are Our Own Liberators: Selected Prison Writings. Arissa Media Group, 2nd expanded edition 2010. ISBN 978-0974288468
  • Jalil Muntaqim: Escaping the Prism.. Fade to Black: Poetry and Essays. Kersplebedeb, 2015. ISBN 978-1894946629