This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
The FBI claimed a crime scene fingerprint was Herman Bell's. Not the NYPD, however, but the jury wasn't told. The defense argued that federal agents took the print from Muntaqim's San Francisco apartment, and together with the NYPD conspired to assure conviction in the second trial.
Two firearms were also seized when Muntaqim and Washington were arrested. The prosecution said one belonged to officer Jones. The FBI tested the second one, a .45 caliber automatic, compared its ballistics to crime scene evidence and found no link. The NYPD claimed its later tests matched the San Francisco weapon. Either the FBI or NYPD lied, but it didn't help. On May 12, 1975, Muntaqim, Washington and Bell (the New York Three) were convicted and sentenced to two concurrent terms of 25 years to life, the maximum penalty at the time.
Prosecutorial charges were bogus as later exculpatory evidence showed. Linda Torres, Karen Parks and Jacqueline Tabb testified regarding matters relating to a Bronx, NY apartment the defendants shared. On October 14, 1971, Tabb and others were there when police raided it. Everyone was arrested. Tabb, Maria Torres Bailey and Stanley Bailey were subsequently indicted for hindering prosecution in the second degree, possession of a shotgun, and criminal possession of narcotics.
At trial, Tabb testified that from October 16 - October 28, 1971, the New York County district attorney (DA) questioned her but never mentioned the May 21 killings. Fearing imprisonment, however, she then became a prosecution witness, after which she was freed and given a DA-provided apartment.
Later, an FBI October 30, 1971 teletype showed her testimony was perjured, and the DA knew it. According to an NYPD inspector Jenkins, Tabb wanted her charges dropped in return for grand jury testimony. A deal was apparently struck.
At trial, she testified that on May 21, 1971, the five accused didn't leave the apartment until 8PM. Later they returned in two groups from 10:45 - 11PM. After news reports of the killings, Bell allegedly said "we hit the wrong ones" (because one of the officers was Black). She also swore seeing three weapons belonging to Muntaqim, Washington and Bell on a table.
However, a November 5, 1971 FBI teletype, undisclosed at trial, differed from her trial testimony. In it, she said the five men left about 3PM, returned later, left again at 7PM, returned after several hours, and Muntaqim, not Bell said "we hit the wrong ones." She also claimed seeing four weapons, not three.
Linda Torres, the estranged wife of Gabriel Torres, testified that on May 21, 1971 she was at the Bronx apartment with her husband, his brother Francisco, Muntaqim, Washington, Bell, Karen Parks, and Tabb. She said the defendants left together from 8 - 9PM, then returned from 11 - midnight." She also claimed hearing Muntaqim say "we just offed some pigs," and the Torres brothers placed guns on her table.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).