Tensions run high at Mumia Abu-Jamal appeal hearing as protestors rally outside

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Tensions were so high during an appeal hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a cab driver who was convicted of killing a police officer, that the wife of the slain police officer was thrown out of court for yelling out at the judge and opposing a 30-day appeal granted to Abu-Jamal.

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Maureen Faulkner, the wife of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner who was killed on Dec. 9, 1981, flew in from California to attend the hearing and voice her concern of the decision to give Abu-Jamal’s an extension to gather information to support an appeal claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when he did not recuse himself from appeal reviews, Philly.com reports.

Faulkner told Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker, “With all due respect, your honor, I have another 30 days that I have to go through this pain and suffering?”

Abu-Jamal’s team are trying to get a hold of a document that would prove that former state Supreme Court Justice Ronald D. Castille violated Abu-Jamal’s constitutional rights when he did not recuse himself from appeal reviews, the outlet reports.

Faulkner’s outburst got the judge’s attention and sheriff’s deputies then tried to plead with her to calm down as she ranted on and ultimately kicked out of the courtroom.

The judge then spoke to the court: “The courtroom is sensitive to both sides. The court is not going to rush to judgment in this matter,” he added. “So, just to be clear, no matter how long it takes, this court is going to do the right thing.”

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The 64-year-old former Black Panther whose activism is well documented has been incarcerated since 1981 for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. He sat on death row for 30 years until his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment without parole in 2011 after numerous appeals questioning the quality of his trial, the mishandling of evidence and racial bias from the judge and jury. It is highly questionable if he had anything to do with the death of Faulkner.

Abu-Jamal was not present at the hearing. He is being held at the State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy in Schuylkill County.

A protest in support of Abu-Jamal was held outside the courtroom.