Former Black Panther Recently Released Rearrested on Alleged Voter Fraud

alil Muntaquim, (Anthony Bottom) a former Black Panther and respected elder, was recently released after nearly 50 years in pris
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Jalil Muntaquim, (Anthony Bottom) a former Black Panther and respected elder, was recently released after nearly 50 years in prison. Now some want to put him back in prison because he filled out a voter registration card.

The New York State Board of Parole, in his 14th hearing, interviewed Jalil Muntaquim at length and determined that he met the criteria for discretionary release. He had an exemplary prison record, expressing sincere remorse, and posed no threat to the community.

DOCCS' own risk assessment tool, COMPAS, scored Jalil as having the lowest risk for re-offending In prison he earned multiple college degrees and helped avert prison riots; his release on parole was endorsed by hundreds of people including academics, faith leaders, and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus of New York State.

Jalil entered jail as a 19-year-old; today he is a 69-year-old great-grandfather.

On October 30th Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley's office issued an arrest warrant against Jalil with charges for which no one in the state of New York has ever been arrested or indicted. This attempt to re-incarcerate and elder recently recovering from COVID-19 does not work in the interest of justice, public health, or public safety.

The DA's calls are outrageous, unprecedented, and come on the heels of a petition by Bill Napier, chairman of the local Republican Party, to prosecute Jalil for voter fraud. These charges are politically motivated, senseless and a waste of taxpayer's money.

None of the people in Monroe County who oppose Jalil's release know him; they believe that anyone convicted of a serious crime should never leave prison. Whether or not one agrees with this sentiment, Jalil was released from prison according to the lawful procedures of this state.

Jalil has scrupulously followed the instructions given him by the parole officer. In fact, hundreds of faith leaders, community members, elected officials, academics, legal experts, and civil rights organizations in Rochester and throughout the state of New York oppose this politically-motivated effort by the district attorney.


Editor's Note: Mr. Jalil Muntaquim's recent arrest is reportedly based on the assertion that he committed voter fraud by attempting to vote as a parolee. An important conversation needs to take place about whether parolees should be disenfranchised for past crimes.

However, it may be that Mr. Muntaquim is really being targeted here not for voter fraud--but for the crimes that he was already convicted of: the 1974 murders of NYPD officers Waverly Jones and Joseph A. Piagentini.

Muntaquim's recent parole was vehemently opposed by officials in New York. For them, the crime of killing police officers is unforgivable--even from a time (in the 70's) when the police murders of Black people was much more acceptable by politicians, and state governments, than it is now.

Unfortunately, reconciliation is a one-way street for our political "leaders," who have no problem calling for peace, forgiveness and "healing" when it involves killer-cops who mass murder Black people, while wearing the uniforms of the state. But these same hypocrites will fight tooth and nail to continue to punish those who fought systematic racist oppression coming from state forces.

Sign petition to support Jalil Muntaquim here.

Jalil Muntaquim petition video here.

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