Disgust with Decision to Celebrate Murderer

October 6, 2014

Mr. Robert Kenny
Interim President
Goddard College
123 Pitkin Road
Plainfield, VT 05667

Dear Mr. Kenny:

On behalf of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) which represents 26,000 Special Agents and Officers from 65 Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, I can't express enough disgust and disbelief at your choice to have your commencement address delivered by Mumia Abu-Jamal, a heinous and unapologetic cop killer serving a life sentence for murdering twenty-five year-old Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner.

Your attempt to justify your selection by stating that it "shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that" is hardly a justification for your actions and that of your misguided students.

To label a menace to society as some sort of radical person that should be speaking to our young men and women as some sort of teaching tool is unconscionable - it is an affront to the morals and values of our citizenry.

Radical people are those who stand up for they believe is right regardless of the cost to them and/or their freedom. This doesn't correlate with a person one who ambushed a police officer, shot that officer in the back, and while that officer lay wounded and defenseless on the ground, lowered a gun to the officer's face and took his life.  Abu-Jamal has never apologized or expressed any regret for his heinous crime. To the contrary, after the murder, Abu-Jamal boasted, "I killed the [police officer], and I hope the [police officer] dies."

This is not a racial, religious or political issue. The issue is of simple humanity and not  glorifying a murderer. Regardless of the fact that the victim was a law enforcement officer or a person just walking down the street, someone who executes an innocent human being is not someone to be looked up to.

By your line of reasoning, your next commencement speaker should be the ISIS terrorists who are beheading innocent civilians. Wouldn't that give your students a chance to hear from "radical" individuals and think critically?

Finally, you and the students who made this choice should be ashamed of yourselves. You either have all lived a life of privilege with no idea of how real people live or how violence touches peoples' lives or you are incredibly callous and self-important. You can only pray that you never have to be in the situation where the murderer of someone you love is made into some subversive hero and "radical."


Frank Terreri
National Vice President for Legislative Affairs
FAMs Agency President