The Confession of Otis Jackson in the Case of Imam Jamil
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
The following is the verbatim transcript of an FBI document based on one or more interviews with a 26 year old black male, who appears to be of the same approximate height and weight as Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
According to a State of Nevada Department of Corrections Memorandum, which I also have in my possession (dated 7/24/00, and directed to the attention of Sgt. Bennett of the Atlanta, Ga., Police Dept.), Otis Milton Jackson was granted an Interstate Compact Parole request to Atlanta, Ga., on 01-31-00. He absconded supervision and was extradited back to Nevada, on 04-13-00.
The Memorandum reads in part: "When booked into the Clark County Detention Center, Jackson indicated to the Officer that he had been involved in a shooting/murder of an Officer, when he was in Georgia. The Detention Officer did not investigate the statement. Inmate Jackson has been returned to the Nevada Department of Prisons, and presently he is undergoing intake processing. It would be greatly appreciated, if you would investigate Jackson's assertion of involvement in a shooting/murder."
The following is a word-for-word copy of the FBI document. While it is tempting for me to make comment on issues raised, I will reserve my comment until later. There is more revealing documentation to come.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Investigation on 6/29/00 at Las Vegas, Nevada File # 62D-LV-33941 SA Devon P. Mahoney SA Lawrence K. Wenk
Date dictated 7/3/00
Otis Jackson, black male, date of birth June 31, 1974, Social Security Account Number 299-60-7042, also known as Odis Jackson, Social Security Account Number 299-80-7057, was advised of the identities of the interviewing agents and the purpose of the interview. Jackson was interviewed in the presence of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers Dante Tromba and Greg Neglich. After Jackson was read his rights from FD-395 and signed the same form advising that he was willing to answer questions, Jackson provided the following information.
On March 16, 200 or March 17, 200, at 2:00 p.m.,  Jackson had just got off work from Mick's, a restaurant in the Atlanta area, and drove to Jameel Alamin's residence. Jackson advised that it took him approximately 30 minutes to get to Alamin's house. Jackson could not remember Alamin's address, but advised that the residence was on the west end area on the other side of the train station.
Jackson explained that he and Alamin were not friends but acquaintances. Jackson planned to talk to Alamin to reassure him that Jackson was not implicating him in Jackson's plans to start an organization of his own called the Black Liberation Army. Jackson stated that the Black Liberation Army was a radical group of the Black Panthers that wanted the government to provide land for them to live separately from the rest of the country. Jackson stated that Alamin was a religious leader in the community and did not have the same views as the Black Liberation Army.
When Jackson arrived at Alamin's residence, Alamin was not there, but another black male was at the residence also waiting for Alamin. They both waited outside in front of Alamin's house. Jackson did not know who the additional black male was, since it was the first time they had met. While they waited for Alamin to return home, Jackson and the other black male discussed Jackson's Black Liberation Army.
Approximately 10 minutes after Jackson arrived at Alamin's residence, Alamin arrived in a car at the residence. As the three men were talking, a police car arrived and two police officers attempted to serve Alamin with a warrant. Jackson believed the warrant charged Alamin with impersonating an officer and something about stolen property. Jackson stated that he did not think the warrant was valid, so he spoke out and a verbal disagreement with Officer Kinchen proceeded. The argument got heated and Kinchen's partner attempted to handcuff Jackson.
Jackson then began fighting with Kinchen's partner and Kinchen came over to assist in the fight. Kinchen grabbed Jackson and Jackson stated that he spun out of Kinchen's grasp and then punched Kinchen in the face. Jackson then stated that he drew a 9mm Smith and Wesson from his pants waist band which was covered by his black Islamic robe. Jackson fired one shot at Kinchen and Jackson thought the round hit Kinchen in the stomach. Jackson immediately went to his car's trunk where Jackson had an SKS assault rifle, an M-16 machine gun, and a mini 14.
Jackson stated the trunk did not lock, and he believed he grabbed the mini 14 and fired four rounds. Jackson thought that Kinchen was shot twice. Jackson advised that Kinchen's partner began to run away toward the main street and a mall. Jackson started to chase the officer, but said the officer must have been a track star or something, because he (Jackson) could not catch him. Jackson was able to shoot the retreating officer in the leg and estimated that he chased the officer approximately 20 feet.
After the shootings, Jackson returned to Alamin's residence and observed Alamin standing in the street in front of his house. Jackson stated that during the shooting, Alamin tried to stop Jackson from shooting at the officers by getting in Jackson's way. Alamin asked Jackson why he had shot the officers, but Jackson did not answer except to say that he was going home. Jackson stated that he thought that the other black male had been wounded because Jackson saw him lying on the street, but Jackson was not sure.
Jackson then left in his 1981 or 1982 Chevy Caprice Classic. Jackson advised that the car actually belonged to a friend who lived across the street from Jackson, and that the vehicle was purchased from Bishop Brother Dealer. Once Jackson returned home at 2380 Gernigan, Atlanta, Georgia, he brought the guns from the car trunk into the house.
Approximately four hours after he returned home, Jackson gave all the guns to his brother Clyde Jackson who was 31 or 32 years of age, and who lived somewhere in Jonesboro. Jackson told his brother that he did not want the guns in the house because he was on probation. Jackson was asked where he got the guns, Jackson stated that he was a Vice Lord and it was easy to get guns. Jackson was unable to provide any other information concerning the make and model of the guns described, other than saying the M-16 was a military issued weapon.
Approximately two days later, Jackson was watching the news and learned that the police were looking for and could not find Alamin. Jackson figured that Alamin panicked and decided to run from the police. Jackson said he heard that Alamin was found on March 24, 200, in Alabama. Jackson stated that by that time he had been arrested in Fulton County on parole violations. Jackson thought that he had been arrested on March 20, 2000.
Jackson stated that during the shooting he was on electronic monitoring. Jackson advised that his parole officer was Sarah Bacon.
Jackson was asked if he would write his own statement and he advised that he would. Jackson's statement is attached to and made a part of this report.
After Jackson wrote his statement, he advised there were actually sic guns in the car, an SKS which was a Japanese made AK 47, two army issue M-16s, a Mini 14 which was a small assault rifle, and a cheaply made 45 magnum pistol.
Jackson was asked why he shot at the officers. Jackson advised that he did not think the warrants for Alamin were valid and he also did not like the police. Jackson was asked why the police believed Alamin shot the officers. Jackson stated that he felt the officer made a mistake, since all three of the people there were black men with bald heads.
According to an FBI transcript dated July 13, 2000 (and based on the 6/29/00 investigation), Dante Tromba, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer assigned to the Intelligence Section at the Clark County Detention Center, was interviewed after escorting Otis Jackson back to his cell. Tromba, according to the report, provided the following information: "Tromba stated that he told Jackson that Jackson's story was good except that he smiled too much. Jackson told Tromba that he did not know how to answer some of the questions that were asked him. Tromba told Jackson that Jackson's people were going to owe Jackson in a big way and they would also take care of his family. Jackson agreed that they would in fact owe him. Tromba explained that when he referred to family he was referring to the Vice Lords."
Within two weeks of the what appears to have been his first interview with authorities, Jackson recanted his confession. A handwritten statement, dated July 11, 2000, and addressed to the [then] U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno, reads as follows:
"My name is Otis Milton Jackson, I'm the Minister of the New Black Revolution Army and the New B.L.A. Now I'm in Las Vegas NV, on parole violation. I was on an Interstate Compact Parole supervision in Atlanta, Georgia. Now on the 6-29-2000 of this year the FBI came and talked with me about a case in Atlanta regarding Jamil Al-Amin who has been so-called accused of shooting a Fulton County Sheriff's deputy on 3-16-2000 or 3-17-2000 of this year. I have been put on maximum custody at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas and they are charging me with the death of the Deputy. Now I would like to know how Las Vegas is charging me when Atlanta has not? The Law Enforcement people here are calling me cop killer, I don't want to eat or anything...If I'm not charged then I would like to be put back in general housing and if I am charged then Atlanta needs to come get me and not let me do my parole violation. George W. Bush don't respect life he let a man receive a lethal injection, but if that man had been White he would have been given a stay of execution. You all took up more time with a cuban boy then with the life of a man who has been here all of his life I'm talking about Gary Graham. A search of my residence was conducted and the things that they found my ex-wife told them that it was her things _ has letters and all. I have sent letters to the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. Mrs. Reno this is an emergency situation because Vegas is giving me a case that I don't have and if I do have it then _ me the important information that I need to get legal representation. If I'm being charged with the case then I want to know all about the case so I will know how to fight it. Mr. Al-Amin nor myself did anything. I would like to know how could Las Vegas enforce a charge out of Atlanta and put me on maximum. I'm a black man that wants Uhuru for my people, that's freedom in swahili. I pray that you will do something cause I'm ready to do my violation and get out to a new life. I pray that you will look into this matter.
(signed) The President
of the B.R.A.
Mr. Otis Milton Jackson
Following Jackson's two page recantation is a third page with a handwritten note at the top that reads: "I Otis Milton Jackson was trying to help a brother not knowing that it would give me the case. I love Jamil but I did not do anything I killed no one and Jamil killed no one. I'm sorry for making [the] FBI feel as if I did this.
Otis Milton Jackson
witness - Saul Alter
Part 3 An Analysis
In this writing I will attempt to analyze the information that we have so far. We have a confession that was formally given to investigators on or about June 29, 2000, of a young black male by the name of Otis Milton Jackson - who signed a "Waiver Of Rights," before being questioned on 6/29/00 at 2:15pm. According to the identification sheet attached to his file, Jackson stands 6.8, weighs 165 lbs, and is of medium build (similar in stature to Imam Jamil). In the photo that accompanies this file, he appears to be medium to dark complexioned, bald, with a short beard.
Before examining Mr. Jackson's written testimony, there are a number of other things that are worthy of note. According to the documentation that I have in my possession, when Jackson "absconded supervision" and was extradited back to Nevada on April 13, 2000, as he was being booked into the Clark County Detention Center, "Jackson indicated to the officer that he had been involved in a shooting/murder of an officer when he was in Georgia."
The amazing thing is what follows: "The detention officer did not investigate the statement. Inmate Jackson has been returned to the Nevada Department of Prisons, and presently he is undergoing intake processing. It would be greatly appreciated, if you would investigate Jackson's assertion of involvement in a shooting/murder." The date on this State of Nevada Department of Corrections Memorandum is July 24, 2000. More than three months after Jackson made the confession of involvement in the death of a law enforcement officer! Most perplexing; but this is not all..
The memo was directed to a Sgt. Bennett of the Atlanta (Ga) Police Department, yet an FBI interview of Jackson had already begun by June 29, 2000. Another document (an Investigative Summary) issued by Senior Investigator Alvin M. Winston, of the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Major Case Division, states that on July 26 (two days after the Nevada memorandum), Winston placed a call to the South Metro Parole Center to speak with Parole Officer Sarah Bacon, about Otis Jackson. However, Parole Officer Tammy Pritchard informed Winston that Bacon was no longer an employee in the office and that Jackson's case had been transferred to the State of Nevada.
The obvious questions are, (a) why did it take Nevada authorities so long to contact Georgian authorities with a request to investigate a man who claimed to have been involved in the shooting of two Georgian law enforcement officers (and keep in mind, the March 16th incident made national headlines); and (b) why was it deemed necessary to request assistance after the involvement of the highest, most sophisticated law enforcement agency in the land (the FBI)? And now for my analysis of the confession and recantation.
As stated previously (in part one of this report), the FBI summary that I have in my possession is signed off on by special agents Devon P. Mahoney and Lawrence K Wenk[e], and is based upon an investigation conducted on June 29, 2000; an interview of Jackson "in the presence of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers Dante Tromba and Greg Neglich." The things that stand out for me are the following quotes from the FBI summary report:
1. "Jackson explained that he and Al-Amin were not friends but acquaintances."
2. "Another black male was at the residence also waiting for Al-Amin."
3. "Approximately 10 minutes after Jackson arrived at Al-Amin's residence, Al-Amin arrived. As the three men were talking, a police car arrived and two police officers attempted to serve Al-Amin with a warrant."
4. Jackson initiated an argument with the officers, "that got heated, and [Deputy] Kinchen's partner (Deputy English) attempted to handcuff Jackson."
5. "Jackson then began fighting with Kinchen's partner and Kinchen came over to assist in the fight. Kinchen grabbed Jackson and Jackson stated that he spun out of Kinchen's grasp and then punched Kinchen in the face. Jackson then stated that he drew a 9mm Smith and Wesson from his pants waist band which was covered by his black Islamic robe. Jackson fired one shot at Kinchen and Jackson thought the round hit Kinchen in the stomach. Jackson immediately went to his car's trunk where Jackson had an SKS assault rifle, an M-16 machine gun, and a mini 14."
6. "Kinchen's partner began to run away toward the main street..."
7. "Jackson was able to shoot the retreating officer in the leg."
8. "Jackson stated that during the shooting Al-Amin tried to stop Jackson from shooting at the officers by getting in Jackson's way. Al-Amin asked Jackson why he had shot the officers, but Jackson did not answer except to say that he was going home. Jackson stated that he thought the other black male had been wounded because Jackson saw him lying on the street, but Jackson was not sure."
9. "Jackson then left in his 1981 or 1982 Chevy Caprice Classic."
10. "Jackson was asked (by investigators) why he shot at the officers. Jackson advised that he did not think the warrants for Al-Amin were valid, and he also did not like the police. Jackson was asked why the police believed Al-Amin shot the officers. Jackson stated that he felt the officer made a mistake, since all three of the people there were black men with bald heads."
Otis Jackson recanted his confession in a handwritten letter addressed to [then] U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, within days of the June 29th confession. The things that stand out for me in this statement are the following:
1. After identifying himself he makes the following complaint: "I have been put on maximum custody at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, and they are charging me with the death of the deputy."
2. "The law enforcement people here are calling me cop killer, I don't want to eat or anything... If I'm not charged then I would like to be put back in general housing, and if I am charged then Atlanta needs to come get me and not let me do my parole violation."
3. Then he rails against the injustice that was committed by the State of Texas against Gary Graham (aka Shaka Sankofa) - a high profile execution that took place last year.
4. "...Vegas is giving me a case that I don't have... Mr. Al-Amin nor myself did anything."
Initially, I thought page three was part of one complete (two and a half page) statement of recantation, but now I'm not so sure. Page three has fax info printed across the top of the page, while the first two pages (addressed to Janet Reno do not). The final statement reads: "I, Otis Milton Jackson was trying to help a brother not knowing that it would give me the case. I love Jamil but I did not do anything, I killed no one and Jamil killed no one. I'm sorry for making [the] FBI feel as if I did this."
One of the officers (Tromba) who reportedly witnessed the initial FBI interrogation of Jackson stated in a July 13, 2000, interview that while escorting Jackson back to his cell, he told Jackson, "Jackson's story was good except that he smiled to much." And further, "Jackson's people were going to owe Jackson in a big way." Two things jump out from this statement: (1) Tromba - and probably most of the other investigating authorities - found Jackson's narration of the March 16 incident credible; (2) despite this, however, there appears to have been an immediate impulse to discredit Jackson's confession. The question is why?
There is another element to this official investigation that for me is quite glaring. It is inconceivable that trained, impartial investgators could have attached equal credibility to the two contradictory statements. It's even more inconceivable to believe that any man in his right mind will freely confess to a serious crime, without an awareness that his confession will then result in him being charged with that crime. It's also clear that Jackson's letter to Reno was written under a great deal of duress.
Jackson was placed in maximum security and labeled a "cop killer." Two of the worst labels that any inmate can be incarcerated with are child molester (or child killer) and cop killer. In the former you can be placed at risk by fellow inmates, in the latter your security can be jeopardized by rogue correctional officers. It is worth noting that attached to Jackson's file is a confidential report which suggests that, after being transferred to maximum custody, Jackson came under heightened surveilance (to monitor any marked changes in his behavior). Among the signs that came under close scrutiny was, any indication of suicidal tendencies. (This document is dated July 10th.)
In my conclusion, the canons of western jurisprudence, generally speaking, are that a confession is only as good as the evidence that can support it. In the immediate aftermath of the March 16th tragedy, many conflicting and contradictory reports were disseminated by the mainstream media (both print and broadcast); but as the dust settled, and certain facts began to emerge, a more accurate picture of the tragedy has begun to take shape. (Jackson's confession is consistent with many of these known facts.)
While initial reports had the assailant using only a .223 caliber assault rifle that was pulled from under a "black trench coat" (and one of the most commonly available .223 caliber weapons is the Ruger Mini-14), it is now an established fact that a 9mm was also used by the assailant(s). Deputy Kinchen was reportedly shot in the abdomen and leg, and died the following day. Deputy English (reportedly shot four times) survived, but spent days in the intensive care unit of Grady Memorial Hospital. It was within hours of emergency surgery, which concluded shortly after 1 AM, that English identified Imam Jamil from a photo lineup as the assailant of he and his partner.
In one of the 911 calls that came in that fateful night, the caller identified the sound of persons running, followed by the sound of gunfire. The caller also reported that one of the officers pleaded not to be shot again, but it sounded like he was being shot anyway, as if the assailant was in a rage. (On March 17, the Atlanta Journal Constitution would quote David Chadd, public information officer for the Sheriff's Department, as stating, "It looked like the gunman had a vendetta for police officers...") And then we have the question of the blood. Was fresh blood found at the scene? And if there was, whose blood was it?
Much more could be said, but I think this is enough for now. Only Allah (swt) knows what really happened the night of March 16, and who all was involved. We can only speculate. Increasingly, however, it has become clear that information surrounding this case has been seriously flawed from the very begiining; and it also appears that persons in high places are attempting to make the water even murkier.
Deputy English was insistent that his assailant's eyes were gray, and the earliest and most consistent reports had the assailant wearing a black outer garment (identified in the earliest reports as a black trench coat). Included in the official documentation that I now have before me is a "Fulton County Sheriff's Department Incident Report Form." Two things are striking about this document - which comprises a typewritten first person (Deputy English) narration of the March 16th incident. To begin with it's dated 5/3/00 (almost two months after the incident), and secondly, in addition to describing Imam Jamil as having "gray eyes," he also has him wearing (on the night of the tragedy), "a small tan hat, yellowish cloth quarter length trench coat," and "sunglasses with yellowish lenses."
I think we've said enough. The struggle continues...
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though Allah did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except Allah, His Messenger, and the (community of) Believers? But Allah is well- acquainted with (all) that ye do.