Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Paul Howard said a grand jury indicted Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin on murder, felony murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, and 10 other counts. Howard said he hoped the indictment would clear the way for Al-Amin, arrested last week in Alabama, to be returned to Georgia soon.
The 56-year-old Al-Amin is accused of killing Fulton County Deputy Ricky Kinchen and wounding Deputy Aldranon English as they tried to serve him with an arrest warrant at his grocery store in west Atlanta on March 16.
Howard said the indictment was based on English's identification of Al-Amin as the gunman and on lab tests showing that the two weapons recovered after Al-Amin's arrest in White Hall, Ala., matched shell casings found at the shooting scene.
Al-Amin is jailed in Montgomery, Ala. pending an extradition request from Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, who had said he would submit such a request once an indictment was issued.
Joselyn Butler, Barnes' press secretary, said the governor's office expected to receive documents from Fulton County later Tuesday. She said they would be sent to the Alabama governor's office after Barnes' lawyers examined them.
Howard said English did not testify before the grand jury. Instead, the jury heard English's account of the shooting from the police officer who interviewed him, he said.
Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett, who appeared with Howard at a news conference, said English is in good spirits and is recovering from his wounds.
Asked about Al-Amin's claim that he is the victim of a government conspiracy, Barrett replied, "This is all ridiculous. When you cannot defend the indefensible, you go to conspiracy."
Since his arrest, Al-Amin also has contended he is being unfairly treated in jail. Last Friday, Montgomery County, Ala. District Judge Lynn Bright ordered his attorneys to file a separate lawsuit on their claim he was being barred from attending Muslim services and prohibited from wearing traditional Muslim garb.
The arrest warrant the deputies were attempting to serve on Al-Amin was issued after he failed to appear in Cobb County, Ga. Court in January on charges of theft by receiving stolen property, impersonating an officer, and having no proof of insurance.
Al-Amin allegedly was stopped in a stolen car last May and flashed a badge in an attempt to convince the Cobb County officer that he also was a policeman, court documents say.
In the 1960s, Al-Amin was chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and justice minister of the Black Panthers. Known then as Brown, he once exhorted blacks to arm themselves, saying "Violence is as American as cherry pie."
He came to Atlanta in 1976 after converting to Islam while spending five years in prison for his role in a robery that ended in a shootout with New York City police.
In recent years, Al-Amin has lived as the Muslim spiritual leader of a community mosque and operated a small grocery store.
"In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful," was printed above the entrance.