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Syracuse Police Benevolent Association president speaks out against upcoming Muntaqim speech

Photo credit: open source
Photo credit: open source

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the upcoming virtual speech of Jalil Muntaqim on April 6, and much of that controversy has stemmed from the speaker’s criminal history. Muntaqim was convicted of killing two NYPD officers in May 1971. Some of the controversy, however, goes deeper. The event description on SUNY Brockport’s website describes Muntaqim as a “political prisoner” and also states that “SUNY Brockport does not endorse the characterization of this event.”  

While the college has made some effort to distance themselves from this event, members of the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association feel that the college’s administration has not done enough. 

In a press release sent to SUNY Brockport administrators in mid-March, Syracuse Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Joseph Moran criticized Brockport for hosting this event and publishing a description of him on their website using the term “political prisoner.”  

“The PBA wholeheartedly disagrees with this deplorable characterization of Muntaqim, and we are appalled and dismayed that this public institution of higher learning would reference such a violent figure in this manner,” Moran wrote.  

Officer Moran recently spoke to The Stylus about Muntaqim’s upcoming speech.  

“I’ve spoken with a number of my members (Syracuse Police officers in the PBA) who have attended SUNY Brockport in the past, and they are distraught by the decision,” Moran said.  

He also said that “all of my members in general” are happy that the Syracuse PBA president sent out the press release which “vehemently condemned the decision” to bring Muntaqim to speak on the SUNY Brockport campus.  

Not only did Officer Moran find the speech alone problematic, but he also found the event write-up concerning.  

“The write-up included ‘political prisoner, mentor to many, loving human being.’ I don’t know who is performing the editing or the checks and balances at SUNY Brockport, but to describe [Muntaqim] in this capacity, and to put it out and describe it as a web event, it is absolutely despicable,” Moran said. 

“The facts are the facts, and the truth is the truth. And the fact of the matter is this man executed two New York City police officers, but that didn’t touch the event description,” Moran said. 

For Moran, he doesn’t feel as though moving the event online was enough; he believes it should be canceled outright. 

This event is currently scheduled to be held over Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson sent out a link to students and faculty on April 1 to register to attend the online event. Reservations quickly started to fill up, and the event registration is now closed.  

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