At the same time a convicted cop killer gave a controversial college commencement address by video Sunday, scores of Philadelphia officers gathered at the murder site of Officer Daniel Faulkner and needed no words to make their feelings clear.
While Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former death row inmate imprisoned for Faulkner's 1981 murder, encouraged the 20 gathered graduates of Goddard College to "think about the myriad of problems that beset this land and strive to make it better," police held a silent vigil honoring Faulkner as well as his widow.
The choice of Abu-Jamal to give the prerecorded address to the school in Plainfield, Vermont, angered police and politicians far and wide. Abu-Jamal was initially sentenced to death for Faulkner's murder but re-sentenced to life in 2012.
Faulkner's widow had some pointed words for Goddard: “Shame on them," she told WCAU-TV.
“The only thing I would want to hear from Mumia Abu-Jamal is him admitting and confessing to my husband’s murder,” Maureen Faulkner told the station, adding that Goddard "could have another commencement speaker that would give these students wisdom before they start out in life.”
The college's Interim President held a different viewpoint. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that,” Bob Kenny said in a statement.
Here's a report on the vigil:
This story has been updated with video.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.