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Mon/Tue: Stop Extradition of Gary Freeman

Posted by Sara / January 15, 2006

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Panel discussion: Monday, January 16th, 7 p.m.
Concordia University, School of Community and Public Affairs (SCPA), 2149 Mackay, 1st floor (metro Guy)

Featuring Gary's wife Natercia Coelho, and Kaie Kellough of Kalmunity Vibe Collective (speaking and performing poetry written by Gary Freeman).

Rally: Tuesday, January 17th, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler's riding office, 4770 Kent Ave., Suite 316 (metro Plamondon)

Performance by Kalmunity Vibe Collective -- live organic improv
Tuesday January 17th, 8:30 p.m.
Sablo kafe, 50 St. Zotique E, corner St. Dominique (metro Beaubien)

Natercia Coelho (Gary's wife) will also be speaking this event.

Background

Douglas Gary Freeman (Joseph Pannell) is the subject of a United States extradition request stemming from a 1969 incident in Chicago in which a police officer was injured. As has been stated in court, he is an innocent man who acted in self-defense.

He was arrested on July 27, 2004, outside the Toronto Reference Library, where he worked as a library research assistant for the previous 14 years. He has been in custody since that time.

The allegations relate to an incident which occurred over thirty-five years ago in the highly charged atmosphere of racial tension and police repression then present in the African American community of Chicago. After two years in pre-trial custody, Freeman was released on bail. He left Chicago because he feared for his life. He believed that he could not receive a fair trial.

Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has powers under the Extradition Act to refuse to make a surrender order for the extradition of Gary Freeman to the United States. There are significant inconsistencies, omissions, and contradictions in the evidence offered by the United States in support of the request for extradition. Furthermore, serious questions have been raised about the fundamental justice of the Extradition Act in relation to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Most alarmingly, there is a real possibility of retaliatory punishment due to the nature of the allegations, in particular by guards at Cook County Jail where a recent grand jury has found severe mistreatment of detainees, or at the hands of the Chicago police, whose patterns of abuse, including torture, of suspects in custody have been documented by the respected organization Human Rights Watch and others.

Freeman and his wife met while they were working at Concordia's library and they have many family, friends and supporters in Montreal. We do not believe the best interests of justice would be served by uprooting him from his family and returning him to an uncertain fate in the United States.

Come learn about the case and how you can support Gary Freeman and his family!

Info:(514) 848-7583
noii-montreal@resist.ca

Visit www.freemandrum.org for more details on Gary's case.

Endorsed by:
Alfie Roberts Institute
Black Coalition of Quebec
Books to Prisoners
Montreal Anarchist Black Cross Federation
McGill Radical Law Community
No One Is Illegal-Montreal
Solidarity Across Borders

Discussion

19 Comments

Mike / January 15, 2006 at 01:38 pm
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Come on out to this folks. Gary needs all the support he can get. There is no way he can get a fair trial in Chicago and his imprisonment would guarentee him a lifetime of abuse, harassment and torture at the hands of prison guards.

At least come to the panel on Monday to inform youselves and then you can make the decision to go to the rally on Tuesday.
terry / January 21, 2006 at 03:41 pm
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Petition

December 28, 2005

The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
E-mail address: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.
The Honorable Irwin Cotler
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8

I (We), the undersigned, urge you to immediately exercise your powers, as per the Extradition Act, to approve the surrender order for the immediate extradition of Joseph Pannell / Gary Freeman / Douglas Norberg to the United States of America to stand trial for “Attempted Murder of a Chicago Police Officer.

I (We) am (are) gravely concerned about the injustice Joseph Pannell / Gary Freeman / Douglas Norberg has caused over the past 30 plus years by hiding in the United States and Canada under several false names and remaining in Canada as an illegal alien with alleged illegal assistance from his family. The police officer has seen Pannell / Freeman / Norberg arrested not once but three times over the past thirty plus years. Two of that time Joseph Pannell / Gary Freeman / Douglas Norberg fled and hid in Canada;

I (We) believe that Pannell / Freeman / Norberg, wanted for over 30 plus years for the “Attempted Murder of a on-duty Police Officer”, would receive a fair trial by a jury of his peers that his legal team has involvement in selecting making sure the trial is a fair one;

The allegations do relate to a criminal incident, which occurred over thirty-five years ago by Pannell / Freeman / Norberg, who at the time of the shooting was wanted by the U.S. Navy for being absent from leave without authorization, in possession of an illegal automatic firearm, sought by federal authorities (three times), when he was arrested in 1973 by the FBI he had a stolen automatic rifle and false Canadian identification in his possession;

There are significant inconsistencies, omissions and contradictions in statements made by Pannell / Freeman / Norberg and his supporters. But he never denies he intentionally tried to murder the Chicago Police Officer;

The quality of the evidence and witnesses in this case has not deteriorated to such a degree as to affect the trial. In fact the witness and victim stand ready to face Joseph Pannell / Gary Freeman / Douglas Norberg in open court as directed by the make a reasonable assessment likely his Pannell / Freeman / Norberg would stand trial per the Extradition Act (1999);

The decision by Pannell / Freeman / Norberg to flee the United States and come to hide in Canada is based on the following – he wanted to murder a Chicago Police Officer - he never intended to stand trial - he never wants to answer for his crimes and finally will use every means possible to avoid a legal and proven judicial proceeding;

There is a real possibility of retaliatory actions against the victim of this crime, due to the nature of the allegations presented by Pannell / Gary Freeman / Norberg supporters;

I (We) believe the best interests of justice would be best served by sending Joseph Pannell / Gary Freeman / Douglas Norberg back to the United States, especially since he has never denied trying to murder the Chicago Police Officer who has suffered over these past 30 plus years, is in Canada with no legal status, and continues to use false identification even at this date;

There are no serious questions about the fundamental justice of the Extradition Act (1999) in relation to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights. The only question that remains is the one for you to approve the return of Pannell / Freeman / Norberg who has resided illegally in Canada, under false names, never asked for protection until he was recently arrested; never has shown remorse and continues to say he had the right to murder a police officer because the officer was white.

After over thirty years, it is time for the trial to be held once and for all allowing all to participate in the United States (in open court) and the case finally closed.

The victim is a dedicated husband, father, and an author, a producer of victim’s rights programs, former instructor for Goodwill Industries, member of an inner city hospital board of advisors, member of the Cook County States Attorney Victims Rights Program, a member of the Chicago Model Cities Program working with all communities in Chicago and highly valued member of the community.

The victim is not a wanted federal fugitive charged with Attempted Murder as Pannell / Freeman / Norberg is, but rather a valued member of the community he serves and resides in.
I (We) appeal to you to allow Gary Freeman to return the United States and given victims of crimes their right to see a fair trial showing the justice system does protect their rights by treating them as humans.


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Mike / January 21, 2006 at 04:32 pm
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Is this Terry as in Terrence Knox? As in the Chicago Police officer who testimony kept on changing dramatically and helped destroy evidence? The same police officer who assaulted Gary in 1969, and was shot by Gary in self-defense as a result of this assault? Of the same police force that murdered 11 black youths in the same year, including the murder of Fred Hampton while he slept?

Gary Freeman would never and will never receive a fair trial in Chicago.

I implore anyone who reads this to NOT sign the above letter. This is the product of a racist cop rabid on vengeance.
Tap / January 30, 2006 at 11:25 pm
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Terry,

Below are my reasons for refusing to sign your petition to surrender Gary Freeman/Joseph Pannell to the U.S. for trial:


Based on your incessant 35+ years vendetta against a man that you claim you are afraid of returning to harm you and your family (yet you have been the driving force behind this entire investigation). This is a crime that you were responsible for. How can a 19 year old with full facial hair - mustache, goatee & long side burns resemble that of school aged boy? Your inconsistent statements. Your past history as part of THE RED SQUAD. (Well documented on the internet. Your name appears on the list.) The fact that a COLD CASE is no longer a CASE, since all physical evidence was destroyed. The fact that you are lying when you say "He (Pannell/Freeman/Norberg) never denies he intentionally tried to murder a Chicago Police Officer." I've followed this case, I never once read anything in print or heard anything in court that resembled the cod's wallop that you posted. Oh, and by-the-way, Mr. Freeman didn't ask for protection when he crossed over to Canada because nobody in Canada tried to shoot him.


Mr. Freeman would never say that anyone deserves to die - not even you. Why would Mr. Freeman receive a fair trial today, when he spent 2 years in pre-trial custody? This case should have been taken care of right away. Not 6 months, 1 year or 2 years after the fact. I am positive Mr. Freeman would not receive a fair trial in Chicago, especially with the false statements you have made in the past and the ones you have posted on this website. Even the most naive individual can read between the lines - Gary Freeman is not the guilty one. Mr. Freeman gave you every opportunity to bring him to justice, instead he spent 2 years behind bars.


Mr. Knox ...based on your statements regarding Pannell/Freeman/Norberg, I suggest you continue your search because you have the WRONG MAN and the WRONG MAN is currently behind bars in Canada. Meanwhile, you have successfully destroyed a family that is respected and loved by hundreds. The man you have described could never produce the 4 beautiful children that he and his wife share. The same man could never be consistent for all of these years without incident. SHAME ON YOU!!! You should just get on with your life. I have seen you on television and life has treated you well.


I am an honourable Canadian citizen and my wish is that our justice system grant Mr. Pannell a stay in Canada. He has contributed to our society for more than 30 years and he deserves to stay.


I am asking the Honourable Irwin Cotler, to deny Mr. Pannell's Extradition to the U.S. and to allow him to live out the rest of his life with his family in Mississauga, Ontario CANADA.
stephenM / February 5, 2006 at 10:05 pm
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I pray that Mr. Knox, instead of hanging on to the desire for retribution until his last breath, will come to realize that his (presumably Christian) soul would be much more enriched by letting go of this in the spirit of forgiveness.

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