'We take nothing off the table,' Cop killer urges SUNY Brockport audience to take 'any means necessary' approach

A convicted cop killer was invited to speak at a SUNY Brockport event titled 'History of Black Resistance, U.S. Political Prisoners & Genocide: A Conversation with Jalil Muntaqim'

Muntaqim doubled down in a statement to Campus Reform, stating 'apparently you understood the gest [sic] of the message I wanted to convey.'

A convicted cop killer invited to speak at SUNY Brockport claimed that black people are facing genocide in America, and stated that while he “abhors violence” he “loves self-preservation” urging his audience to take action to “ensure our survival” “by any means necessary,” adding “We take nothing off the table.”

The announcement of the event featuring Jalil Muntaqim, who was found guilty of murdering two police officers in 1971, to speak on campus sparked protests, outcry, and a resignation from former adjunct professor and retired Brockport police chief Daniel Varrenti.

Muntaqim stated at the event that he “understand[s]” that the people protesting are “hurt,” but followed up by rhetorically asking, “how you gonna change” 400 years of “trauma?”

When Campus Reform asked about his statements the killer doubled down, stating “apparently you understood the gest [sic] of the message I wanted to convey.”

”I imagine like many right-wing pundits you are looking for some kind of score to make,” he said. “I am confident you will be able to find another controversy to exploit. Be kind to yourself and stay safe, a lot of right-wing nuts out there as you witness on 1/6/22.”

The cop killer alleged that law enforcement and the media “vilified” him and attempted to silence him because “they don’t want me to tell you about” the history of white supremacy in America.

In reporting the events in the leadup to the event titled, “History of Black Resistance, U.S. Political Prisoners & Genocide: A Conversation with Jalil Muntaqim,” Campus Reform spoke to several members of law enforcement and their families, who took issue with the event characterizing him as a “political prisoner.”

[RELATED: Students are ‘appalled’ that their university labels cop-killer a ‘political prisoner,’ invites him to speak]

At the event, Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottom, explained why he believes he is a political prisoner and claimed that he went to jail for fighting against “white supremacy and capitalist imperialism.”

He told a story about a prison psychiatrist who came by his prison cell to ask how he was doing, to which Muntaqim says he replied “I’m in this cell for 23 hours a day for something that I should not be in a cell for at all.” He further described his prison sentence as “inhumane.”

The former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army member spoke about his time in the “struggle” for “black liberation,” and asserted that he was “honoring” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “legacy of resistance.”

He additionally claimed that America “intentionally” creates conditions of poverty for black Americans so they will have to resort to crime and end up in jail to produce “slave labor,” and advocated for the abolition of prisons.

[RELATED: Bard College course: ‘Abolishing Prisons and the Police’]

He also said that everybody, including white people, is “traumatized” by white supremacy, stating “if you’re white, you’re traumatized by white supremacy because you believe that you’re better than anybody else on the planet.”

Muntaqim made a number of claims about America, including that most Americans are “wage slave laborers,” that the country is a “corporation” that “put[s] profits over people,” and that the American “system is racist.”

He claimed that, “on an annual basis, 1000 black people are murdered by police across this country.”

According to the Washington Post’s database on fatal police shootings, 139 black people were shot and killed by the police in 2021. 

[RELATED: Campus Reform | Professors nationwide promise to cancel class...to get ‘Cops off campus’]

The controversial event was previously scheduled to take place in person, but due to “safety and security” concerns it was supposed to be moved to a virtual format. 

However, after SUNY Brockport’s Manager of Procurement and Budget Laurie Boyd speculated to Campus Reform that “Signs point to him being on campus for the transmission,” the event was held in a classroom with a live audience, while simultaneously being transmitted via Zoom.

As a large protest took place before the event featuring pro-police organizations, the New York State College Republicans, and local politicians, University President Heidi Macpherson canceled evening classes on the day of the event “out of an abundance of caution.”

The “possible advent of large numbers of police on campus may be another traumatizing event” for SUNY Brockport students, according to the university’s interim Provost, who stated previously that the school would excuse students’ attendance on the day of the event due to “other circumstances beyond the control of the student.”

While the majority of protests on and off campus were opposing the event, Campus Reform received footage of SUNY Brockport students protesting the backlash the school has received for hosting the event, chanting “let him speak” and holding up signs reading “Justice for Jalil Muntaqim” in a university common area. 

The event was hosted by Assistant Professor Dr. Rafael Outland, who began with a land acknowledgment, a growing trend at university events around the country. He noted that the land SUNY Brockport resides on previously belonged to a native American tribe and that “at some point in the near future, it must be returned back to its rightful owners.”

In introducing himself, Outland stated that he wants to “continue to learn from people like Mr. Muntaqim, as well as other comrades from the Black Panther Party as well as the Black Liberation Army.”

Muntaqim was convicted of killing two police officers after making a fake 911 call to lure them to the ambush site. He and his co-conspirators shot one officer 22 times as he begged for his life. The actions that led to his conviction were not mentioned in the two-hour event.

The killer changed his surname from Bottom to Muntaqim in prison after converting to Islam. “Al-Muntaqim” is one of the “99 Names of Allah” in the Islamic religion. It translates to “The Avenger.”

Campus Reform reached out to SUNY Brockport, Rafael Outland, Heidi Macpherson, and for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow @PeterCordi on Twitter.