I saw an interesting photo online that featured Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, along with other police widows. Maureen Faulkner has bravely engaged in a decades-long pursuit to counter the relentless campaign by Hollywood activists and other leftists to release Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted murderer of her husband, from prison.
Also in the photo was Joseph Sullivan, the retired Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner for Patrol Operations, who offered a caption for the photo: “Proud to represent the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation at our yearly Guest Bartender Event with the AMAZING Maureen Faulkner and our equally AMAZING Police Survivor Family Members who served as guest bartenders to raise money for the @Foplodge 5 Survivor’s Fund which supports the needs of the families of those heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
I reached out to Sullivan and asked him about the event.
“The event took place on December 12th at the FOP Lodge 5,” Sullivan told me. “The event ultimately benefited the FOP Survivors Fund by way of the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation.”
You wrote you represented the Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation at the event. What is the mission of the foundation?
“The Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation, FBBCF, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to improving the lives of children in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area. We achieve this by providing necessary financial relief for the families of fallen or critically injured first responders, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and cultivating positive relationships and interactions between police officers and the children in the communities they serve.”
What role do you play in the Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation?
“I serve as President of the Board of Directors and a liaison to the outside community and the Philadelphia Police Department’s Police Youth Alliance Program.”
Maureen Faulkner was at the event. How would you describe her?
“Maureen is a warrior. She has been fighting this case for over 40 years now and is one of the strongest women I know,” Sullivan said. “She doesn’t miss a court hearing despite living in California now. Having lost her husband so long ago, she has become a mentor and shoulder to cry on for the other widows of Philadelphia Police Officers.”
How would you describe her continuing support of her murdered cop husband after all these years?
“She’s fighting for the justice that Danny deserves, as I think any other person in her position would. They were newly married, a young couple of 25 years old. I’m sure this isn’t how she pictured her life going but here she is sticking up for the families of victims, of fallen officers, of people whose lives ended way too soon. While it will always be about Danny, it has grown into something so much larger that many people might not have been able to handle.”
In Maureen Faulkner’s 2007 book, “Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain, and Injustice,” she recounts how she has suffered and yet she tirelessly speaks out against Abu-Jamal.
Daniel Faulkner was murdered in December of 1981. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and supporter of the radical group MOVE, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1982 based on eyewitness testimony, ballistics, and his confession at the hospital after the shooting. His death penalty sentence was later commuted to a life and his court appeals go on.
I asked Sullivan what he thought of the campaign to release Faulkner’s convicted murderer, Abu Jamal, from prison?
“I respect the decisions made by the original jury and the numerous judges who have upheld his conviction for decades. The evidence in my opinion is overwhelming.”
Why are cop killers more dangerous to the public than the murderers of average citizens?
“Everyone’s life is equally important, but when you murder a police officer or other government official while they are acting in the performance of their official duties, it is not just an attack on the individual, it is also an attack on the entire community that officer represents, the government itself and the rule of law.”
I would add that police officers are armed and backed up by thousands of other armed officers. The bold killer who murders a cop is a total outlaw who would not hesitate to murder anyone, anytime and anywhere.
How can people connect with the Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation and offer support?
“Donations can be made on our website at www.fbbcf.org, or you can call 484-532-7274, or you can write a check to 555 E. North Lane, Suite 6060, Conshohocken, PA 19428,” Sullivan said.
Paul Davis’ Crime Beat column appears here each week. You can contact him via pauldavisoncrime.com