Updates From the Front Lines Bring Solo home!
Dennis “Solo” McKeithan’s innocence story is all too common in Philadelphia, a city with a long fraught history of police corruption and racism. Here’s what happened:
On the night of October 26th, 1982 at 11:00 PM, the Sweet Love Lounge in North Philadelphia was robbed. During the heist not one shot was fired, no one was injured, and less than $1200 dollars was taken from the till and from patrons’ pockets. The kicker: Dennis was not even there!
Yet, Dennis McKeithan has served 38 years of a 55–110 year sentence for five counts of robbery run consecutively.
Here is the frame-up:
● Marvin Nelson, owner of the Sweet Love Lounge, told investigators “McKeithan was one of the robbers.” But Nelson, a disgraced Philadelphia police officer who had been fired from the Department for conduct unbecoming an officer, was not at the scene of the robbery himself. Because of the deep Philly police corruption, he was allowed to “help” police officer John Fleming, (a figure notorious in the 39th District police scandal) and conduct the investigation.
● Police informant Carl Cooper, a “friend of Nelson and Fleming,” testified that he was a former police officer who had been wounded in the line of duty and that Dennis hit him in the face while robbing him at the bar. But Cooper never was a cop and could not have been wounded in the line of duty. He also declined to mention that he was a prolific testi-lyer for police; he has been caught in court lying.
● The bartender working at the Sweet Love the night of the robbery has come forward to say: “I told the police over and over again that Dennis was not there...they just kept badgering me. Telling me that he did it.”
● One of the actual robbers, Derrick Harold, says “Dennis did not rob the bar with us. The police were only focused on getting Dennis...during my interrogation, they handcuffed me to a chair for hours... they kept showing me Dennis’s picture and told me I had to sign what they wrote.”
Please consider writing your own letter and sending the enclosed postcards to Dennis and to the District Attorney. It is time for Mr. McKeithan to come home to his family.
Dennis “Solo” McKeithan
Voices in the Whirlwind
At the founding meeting of Philadelphia’s Jericho chapter, Jericho and Prison Radio decided to work together to build a platform called Voices in the Whirlwind that will share the stories of Pennsylvania’s political and politicized prisoners. Jericho’s founding statement notes: “Our movements have been built on the sacrifice, wisdom and leadership of our political prisoners, who, despite surviving countless hostile encounters with the state’s security forces, are on the verge of succumbing to old age and infirmities behind the walls and gun towers of the empire’s Prison Industrial Complex. Our political prisoners have always been at the heart of our organizing.” Voicesinthewhirlwind.org will launch next month.
The Jericho Movement is a national support organization for political prisoners that grew out of a 1998 call by political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim. Jericho Philadelphia’s team includes Robert Saleem Holbrook, Kempis Songster, Jihad Abdulmumit, Pam Africa, Mike Africa Jr., and Razakhan Shaheed. We will be working closely with the families of Russell Shoatz, Fred Muhammed Burton, Dennis Solo McKeithan, Mumia Abu Jamal, Arthur Cetewayo Johnson, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, Bryant Arroyo, Dawud Lee, Joe Joe Bowen, and Robert Asafo Williams.
Consider a gift of $250, $50, $35 or even $1000 dollars. A donor gave us 10K as a match to Noelle’s cross- the-finish-line bar exam sabbatical. The warm and lovely folks that have been writing “go Noelle” on the memo line encourage her.