Jalil Abdul Muntaqim (born October 18, 1951, as Anthony Bottom) is a former member of both the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Black Liberation Army (BLA). On May 21, 1971, he was arrested in California along with Albert “Nuh” Washington and Herman Bell and convicted of the killings of two New York City police officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph A. Piagentini. In 1974, Muntaqim was convicted on two counts of murder in the first degree for these killings, and received a prison term of twenty-five years to life.
Muntaqim was born 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 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. At the age of eighteen, Muntaqim joined the Black Panther Party after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.. King's assassination only solidified Muntaqim's beliefs that armed strategies of resistance were 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, as opposed to the mainstream party, which focused on organizing, communicating with nationwide affiliates and other revolutionary groups to form positive political and social relations. In contrast, the underground party was 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.” Councilman Charles Barron, a self-described black revolutionary, is one of Muntaqim’s active advocates.
Jalil Muntaqim had a hearing with the parole board on November 17, 2009 and was again denied parole. He remained incarcerated at Attica. He was transferred from Attica Correctional Facility to Southport Correctional Facility near Elmira, New York, in early January, 2017.
- James, Joy, ed. Imprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation and Rebellion. 1st edn. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. 2003.
- 2nd guilty plea in 1971 killing of S.F. officer (via SFGate)
- "Mayor Opposes Parole for Man In 1971 Killings of Two Officers".
- "Adding Charm to Revolution; But Some Say Charles Barron Risks Going Too Far".
- NY State Inmate locator DIN=77A4283 cut: BOTTOM