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Convicted Cop Killer Mumia Abu Jamal Claims Briggs Shot With, Choked on Pepper Gel

mumia abu jamal

An outspoken convicted cop killer serving a life sentence at SCI-Mahanoy says Tyrone Briggs died at the prison after being “shot” by a pepper-spray projectile.

The infamous Mumia Abu-Jamal recently added a broadcast to his account at in which he details life in the prison following Briggs’ death on Nov. 11. (For more details on Briggs’ death, including his parents’ reaction read: Advocacy Group Says “Aggressive Conduct” Led to SCI Mahanoy Inmate Death)

We’re still waiting for the results of a Pennsylvania State Police investigation into Briggs’ death. Since the death was reported, 13 staff members at SCI-Mahanoy were suspended without pay.

All we know for now is that Briggs died following an altercation with another inmate inside SCI-Mahanoy in Frackville.

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Abu-Jamal, in his “podcast” at, says the scuttlebutt around the prison is that Briggs (known as Little Reds on the inside) was shot by a pepper ball-like weapon. His fellow inmate hears that Briggs’ final words were “I can’t breathe,” but of course, no one can confirm that.

“Prison guards shot him with a capsicum or pepper spiked gel. And the gel in that foam choked him to death by inflammation perhaps of his mucous membranes,” Abu-Jamal theorizes in his broadcast.

The inmate also says Briggs suffered from asthma and the non-lethal weapon turned deadly when it triggered that condition.

Among those suspended, according to information from the State Dept. of Corrections, are both security and medical personnel at SCI-Mahanoy.

The Canary presents this information from Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop killer, just as it is. We’re not saying he’s right or truthful, just that he’s saying it.

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Consider the Source: Mumia Abu Jamal

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Abu-Jamal is serving a life sentence for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. The inmate now serving his sentence at SCI-Mahanoy in Frackville was originally sentenced to death for the killing.

In 2011, Abu-Jamal had his sentenced reduced in a plea deal to life without parole.

That got him off Pennsylvania’s death row and back into a general prison population.

Abu-Jamal appears to have an active account at, where he can broadcast from inside the prison, calling on his previous experience as a Philadelphia reporter in the 1970s. In addition to his work in journalism prior to his murder conviction, Abu-Jamal was instrumental in creating the Philadelphia Black Panther Party.

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Since his arrest, advocates for him have argued for his release from prison, arguing he’s innocent. Transcript: Mumia Abu Jamal – Nov. 17, 2019

Here’s a full transcript of Abu-Jamal’s 2 minute, 9 second broadcast from inside SCI-Mahanoy on the death of Tyrone Briggs.

It’s been less than a week and the news about reds is still circulating around the prison.

Hey man, did you hear about Reds? 

Yeah man, but was that Big Reds or Little Reds?

I don’t know, man.

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For the record, the man called “Little Reds” wasn’t so much little as he was shorter in height than “Big Reds”. And his birth name was Tyrone Briggs — medium height but more muscled than Big Reds. He was closing in on his minimum of 15 years, a sentence he was serving since he was a juvenile at 16 years old.

He will never reach his minimum, however, because prison guards shot him with a capsicum or pepper spiked gel. And the gel in that foam choked him to death by inflammation perhaps of his mucous membranes.

You see, Reds was asthmatic.

Tyrone “Reds” Briggs was 29 years old. He loved playing sports. He loved acting up. He leaves behind a daughter and a mother in Philadelphia.

Since the incident at SCI-Mahanoy’s infirmary, several guards have been suspended.

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According to several accounts, his last words were, ‘I can’t breathe’.”

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