News Article
November 2, 2020

Monroe County DA Attempts to Reincarcerate Jalil Muntaqim on Fabricated Charges!

Jalil Muntaqim, former Black Panther and respected elder, was recently released after nearly 50 years in prison. The NYS Board of Parole, in his 14th hearing, interviewed him at length and determined that he met the criteria for discretionary release. He had an exemplary prison record, expressed sincere remorse, and posed no threat to the community. DOCCS’ own risk assessment tool, COMPAS, scored Jalil as having the lowest risk for reoffending. In prison, he earned multiple college degrees and helped avert prison riots; his release on parole was endorsed by hundreds of people, including academics, faith leaders, and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus (of NYS). Jalil entered prison as a 19-year-old; today, he is a 69-year-old great-grandfather.

On October 30th, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley’s office issued a warrant against Jalil with charges for which no one in the state of New York has ever been arrested or indicted. This attempt to reincarcerate an elder still recovering from COVID-19 does not work in the interest of justice, public health, or public safety.

This apparently stems from his mistakenly filling out and mailing a voter registration form as part of a packet of medicare information that he had to complete. He was notified afterwards that he was ineligible to vote and that should have been the end of it.

The DA’s calls are outrageous, unprecedented, and come on the heels of a petition by Bill Napier, Chairman of the local Republican Party, to prosecute Jalil for voter fraud. These charges are politically-motivated, senseless and a waste of taxpayers’ money. None of the people in Monroe County who oppose Jalil’s release know him; they believe that anyone convicted of a serious crime should never leave prison. Whether or not one agrees with this sentiment, Jalil was released from prison according to the lawful procedures of this state. Jalil has scrupulously followed the instructions given him by his parole officer. In fact, hundreds of faith leaders, community members, elected officials, academics, legal experts, and civil rights organizations in Rochester and throughout the State of New York oppose this politically motivated effort by the District Attorney.

Jalil is grateful to have strong community support, is putting down roots, and reconnecting with friends and family.

Please sign on to the community letter being circulated which is in opposition to his reincarceration:

There will be a Grand Jury hearing on Nov. 6, 2020. Depending on the outcome, next court date in Rochester will be on Nov. 16, 2020. We will be mobilizing to Rochester to pack the court for Jalil!