As Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin languished in federal custody in Tucson, Arizona, a diverse group of spirited supporters rallied in front of the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta Monday. The rally coincided with Imam Jamil’s 78th birthday, 21 of which have been spent incarcerated after being convicted for the killing of one Cobb County Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy and the wounding of another. Impassioned chants of “Free Imam Jamil Now,” and “What Do We Want, Freedom, When Do We Want It, Now” resounded in the streets as pedestrians and passengers walked and drove in front of the Courthouse craning their necks to observe the sights and sounds of the rally.
The controversial guilty verdict in Imam Jamil’s case was reached even though the deputies’ description of their assailant grossly contradicted the physical appearance of Imam Jamil. They described the shooter as being 5 feet eight inches tall while Imam Jamil is 6 feet 5 inches. Additionally, the deputies insisted that they would never forget the cold-bloodied stare of the gray eyes of the shooter. Imam Jamil has dark brown eyes. The victims of the shooting affirmed that they shot the trigger man in the stomach. When taken into custody, Imam Jamil had no bullet wounds anywhere on his body. Another man, Otis Jackson aka John Santos, has consistently stated in written and verbal depositions and in court testimony in an unrelated case that he is the person who shot the two deputies in front of Imam Jamil’s store in 2000. Coincidentally, Jackson is 5 feet 8 inches tall, and has a scar on his stomach from a bullet wound and has gray eyes.
Over 78,000 digital signatures have been submitted to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office while 500 additional hand-written signatures were delivered by representatives from the rally co-sponsors on the day of the event. The stated reason for the rally was to demand that Imam Jamil, a state prisoner, be returned from the federal prison in Tucson to the state of Georgia and that the Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit use its authority to immediately exonerate him.
The October 4 birthday rally for Imam Jamil was sponsored by the Imam Jamil Action Network (IJAN) and co-sponsored by ICNA Council for Social Justice, CAIR Georgia, Muslims for Social Justice (NC), Justice for Georgia, Atlanta WWP, The Alliance for Political Accountability, African Holistic Health Association, and the Moorish Science Temple of America.