Declaration of Yvette Williams, co-worker and friend of Cynthia White (the prosecution’s key witness) who described to Yvette how she lied in court because of police pressure, bribes and coercion.
I, YVETTE WILLIAMS, declare:
If called as a witness in this case I would truthfully and accurately testify to the following from my own personal knowledge.
I was in jail with Cynthia White in December of 1981 after Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed. Cynthia White told me the police were making her lie and say she saw Mr. Jamal shoot Officer Faulkner when she really did not see who did it. She said she knew Mumia from seeing him drive a cab.
I was in jail with Cynthia White and knew she was a prostitute in center city Philadelphia around 13th Street. She used a lot of different names besides “Cynthia White” one of them was “Lucky” which is what I called her. She liked to wear a lot of different wigs. The word on the street was that she was a snitch for the police. Cynthia and I met due to being in jail for not wanting to testify in homicides.
In December of 1981, Lucky (Cynthia White) was locked up in “PC” (protective custody) in the “hole” for women, “G” Rear. I was in jail because the cops thought that I knew something about a homicide – I didn’t – but they wanted to get information out of me.
Our cells were directly across from each other. Sometimes the inmates would use me as a “runner” passing contraband between inmates in the hole and inmates in population, and I would stop and talk with Lucky when I went to her cell. I had been involved in violent crime and was interested in what prostitution was all about so I was asking Lucky about it, considering it as an occupation. She was nervous and frightened and glad to have someone to talk to. She was always crying and sad. She told me she was scared for her life. I asked her, “Scared of who?” she stated, “The guards and vice.”
When Lucky told me she didn’t even see who shot Officer Faulkner, I asked her why she was “lying on that man” (Mumia Abu-Jamal). She told me it was because for the police and vice threatened her life. Additionally, the police were giving her money for tricks. “The way she talked, we were talking “G’s” ($1,000.00). She also said she was terrified of what the police would do to her if she didn’t say that Mumia shot Officer Faulkner. According to Lucky, the police told her they would consolidate all her cases and send her “up” (Muncy), a women’s prison, for a long time if she didn’t testify to what they told her to say. Lucky told me she had a lot of open cases and out-of-state warrants and was scared of going to Muncy. She was scared that her pimp “would get pissed off” at all the money he was losing when she was locked up, and off the street. She was afraid that when she got out he would beat her up or kill her.
Lucky was worried the police would kill her if she didn’t say what they wanted. She was scared of what the MOVE people would do to her after she testified against Mumia, but MOVE never threatened Lucky while incarcerated. She was scared when she told me all of this plus she was crying and shaking. Whenever she talked about testifying against Mumia Abu-Jamal, and how the police were making her lie, she was nervous and very excited and I could tell how scared she was from the way she was talking and crying.
Lucky told me that what really happened that night was that she was “on the stroll” (looking for and serving customers) in the area of 13th and Locust when Officer Faulkner got shot, but she definitely did not see who did it. She also told me that she had a drug habit and was high on drugs when it happened. She tried to run away after the shooting, but the cops grabbed her and wouldn’t let her go. They took her in the car first and told her that she saw Mumia shoot Officer Faulkner.
While Lucky and I were locked up in the “hole”, the detectives would come to the jail a lot and get her out to talk to her. When she came back she always had things they wouldn’t let us have in there, like cigarettes and candy and even hoagies, syringes and white powders. They would let her out for two (2) hours recreation time during times the women’s jail was on lock down for count.
I feel like I’ve almost had a nervous breakdown over keeping quiet about this all these years. I didn’t say anything because I was afraid. I was afraid of the police. They’re dangerous. They can hurt you and get away with it. I know, I’ve been trouble with the law and they know me. I’m still afraid of what they could do, but when Mr. Jamal’s case was on TV and in “The Daily News”, in the middle of December of last year, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, I kept thinking that man could die because of all the lies that Lucky told on that witness stand and Mrs. Faulkner would never know the truth.
I read in the papers that Mr. Jamal’s lawyer was in California, but I didn’t have long distance service. When I saw that Mr. Jamal had a lawyer in Philadelphia named J. Michael Farrell, I looked him up in the phone book yellow pages and called his office on December 18 or 19, 2001. I talked to one of Mr. Farrell’s assistants and told him I had information about how Cynthia White lied at Mumia’s trial. He took my number and told me someone would call me back.
Two or three days later, I got a call from Mr. Mike Newman, who told me he was a private investigator for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys. I gave him the same basic information that is in this declaration. He called me back a couple of times with more questions, asking for more details.
Before calling attorney Farrell’s office on December 18 or 19, 2001, I never had any contact of any kind with any of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys, past or present. Before talking to Mr. Newman, as explained above, I never had any contact with any of the investigators, assistants or other agents of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys. I do not know Mr. Mumia Abu-Jamal. I never met him, spoke to him, or had any contact with him.
I have carefully read this declaration before signing it to be sure that it is truthful and accurate.
This declaration is made subject to the penalties provided for in Pa. Cons. Stats. Sec. l8 C.S.A. 4904 for unsworn false statements to the authorities.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the law of the Unite States of America that the foregoing declaration is true and correct and was executed by me on 01-28-02, 2002, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.