Fitzpatrick Blasts Obama on Justice Department Nomination

Jan 8, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) blasted President Obama Wednesday for nominating an attorney to head the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice who previously chaired efforts to defend convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Debo Adegbile was the center of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

“Respectfully,  I could not be more incensed and confounded by the nomination of Mr. Debo Adegbile as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice,” Fitzpatrick opened the letter. “Under Mr. Adegbile’s leadership, non-profit attorneys were recruited to defend convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Jamal’s cold-blooded murder of Officer Faulkner is not in doubt. The efforts of those attorneys perverted the justice system and have made a mockery of the jury’s verdict and the court’s sentence.”

“A shameless ‘cottage industry’ of money and promotion has arisen from Jamal’s heinous act which continues to torture Officer Faulkner’s widow and family,” continued Fitzpatrick. “This nomination is a direct affront to the thousands of law enforcement officials who serve in harm’s way to protect our families, and the communities who rely on their service and sacrifice.”

Abu-Jamal shot and killed Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981. Abu-Jamal reportedly admitted to shooting Faulkner to hospital workers following the incident and chose not to testify in his own defense in the ensuing trial. He was found guilty.

“The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is charged with upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans,” added Fitzpatrick. “This nomination erodes the trust of the selfless Americans our communities ask to uphold our laws.”

Adegbile’s nomination is strongly opposed by the National Fraternal Order of Police which sent a similar letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider.

Fitzpatrick also sent this letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as Senators Toomey and Casey, urging them to reject Adegbile’s nomination.          

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.