His name is now Adam Abdul Hakim, but he was born Larry Davis. Back in 1986 he was 19 years old and the subject of one of the largest manhunts in New York State history after he shot 6 police officers when they came to his home to "arrest" him for drug-related offenses. In hindsight this "arrest" attempt was likely a planned execution by members of the NYC Police Department. Davis took on approximately 30 fully-armed cops and won the night they tried to apprehend him and later in a courtroom. After 3 weeks on the run Davis negotiated his surrender to the FBI before under the provision that the NYPD undergo a thorough investigation by Federal Agents for drug trafficking and related crimes. As a result The Mollen Commission was formed and the claim's of Davis who had been selling drugs for members of the NYPD since the age of 16, were proven valid. This official investigation into the abuse and corruption taking place vindicated Davis of all attempted murder charges stemming from that memorable night and his shootout with police, and instead found rampant corruption in the New York City Police Department. Cleared of all wrongdoing in his confrontation with police Davis still had to attend trial on a murder charge involving another drug dealer, a charge of which Davis maintains he is innocent. After several hung juries and failed attempts to prosecute, the prosecution was able to secure a guilty verdict on this final murder charge.
His story has become the stuff of urban folklore. In rap music his name has been tossed around by Hip-hop artist for the last 20 years including, Kool G. Rap, A.G., D.J. Kay Slay, Young Buck, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, and 50-Cent to name a few. KRS best immortalized him in a song called "30 Cops of More" where he raps ďbut when them come to arrest a Black man, they need 30 cops or more". You have heard his story even if you donít remember it and once you hear his story you will never forget it. Larry Davis was a young aspiring music producer turned police-backed drug dealer, who became a unforgettable part of history on November 19th (actual date) 1986. November 19th marked the 20 year Anniversary of the NYPD's attempt on his life after he refused to sell drugs for them anymore.
Live from prison Larry Davis speaks to Bruce Banter of www.playahata.com on the 20th Anniversary of his incarceration.
Playahata.com: Adam Abdul Hakim a.k.a. Larry Davis, Still Wanted Dead or Alive
Playahata.com: We hear that Damon Dash has partnered with Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal to produce a movie based on your life, whatís the deal, when will it hit theatres?
Larry Davis: Nothing has happened. I havenít signed anything on the film yet. I spoke with Dash, Deniro and others. I know Dash is saying we have a deal but things are still evolving (click here for audio of latest on Davis film progress). I had been in contact with lots of people. Had contact with Wesley Snipes to have his company shoot the film before he went to Africa to shoot his latest project but I am still seeing what I am going to do. I been in contact with a number of people and several people have some involvement like Terrence Howard possibly 50-Cent to play me. I have had people come at me with clothing deals, book, video games, etc cause they see it as a chance to capitalize off the story but I have a problem with that if I am not going to be able to capitalize. I prefer to have my story be heard but I also need to control my story to enlighten people about what goes on.
Playahata.com: Are you aware that there are at least two films that are loosely based on your life?
Davis: Yes to my knowledge the Lawrence Fishburne film, Precinct 13th and Nightfall in Manhattan but even outside of that. Portions of my life have been shown in other films like Sugar hill and New Jack City cause what happened was that a friend of mine who was writing for the Village Voice at the time, named Michael Barry Cooper he produced those films. He wrote several Village Voice articles on me at that time he also wanted to do a film about me, I told him no but I gave him a few things from my life to interject that make for good film but only snippets. Only I know my whole story.
Playahata.com: Are you aware of the extent to which rappers drop your name? Rappers love using your name in there rhymes.
Davis: Itís an honor to be named like that. It doesnít bother me at all. Itís a positive thing. I appreciate the shout outs and being named like this, I was in opposition to a corrupt system and did what I had to do. So a lot of people respect that.
Playahata.com: Many artist are only highlighting or glamorizing your drug dealing in their lyrics, do you think that message can be counterproductive?
Davis: My message is for young people to stay away from drugs. My situation is much different. I sold drugs cause I was forced into it. Selling drugs is not cool. My supporters and the people I work with are anti-drug . That is why the idea of 50-Cent playing me in a film would not sit well with my supporters and one of the reasons we are not going to go that route. My message is stay focused you donít want to end up behind these walls, adopt a philosophy that says "I am my brothers keeper".
Playahata.com: Most people are admirers of you. But sometimes they can tell stories which paint you in a different light. Rapper, D-Nice formerly of Boogie Down Production says in his online journal that you were going to kill him over your stolen chain. In short he said he had brought a chain of yours from your cousin, who had stolen it from you. You found out came to his door and gave him 15 minutes to produce the chain but he had paid for it and was not willing to give it up, the only thing that saved him was when his cousin Vanessa, ran into you while you were walking back to your house, presumably to get a piece. You informed her that if he didn't return the jewelry, you were going to kill him, so she went in and got it back from him to give to you, ending the problem.
Davis: Yeah, he said that. I know D ĖNice, that was my lil'boy but I donít know anything about the validity of that story. I know his cousin Vanessa also. That story is funny to me but I would have never got a gun and killed him over that. Laughing, nah I donít know anything about that. I was not like that.
Playahata.com: What triggered your conversion to Islam?
Davis: I had been dabbling back and forth in the religion for a long time. I was always aware of Islam and studying back and forth before I converted.
Playahata.com: Most people I talk to view you as a political prisoner, although you were not initially jailed due to your political beliefs, do you consider yourself a political prisoner?
Davis: Yes, but each person can make up his mind about that. My case was political, my acquittals were political, my supporters are political, the judge referred to me as such when they convicted me for a crime, I did not commit. I canít tell people how to feel but I stand as a political prisoner. I represent change.
Playahata.com: Speaking of political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal always has so much information especially for a man incarcerated, you also seem quite current how do you get your info?
Davis: Well Mumia is exceptional when it comes to getting information out to people and he is a heroic innocent man. I am sure he reads as much as possible but Mumia should be free but just as in my case when they accuse you of harming one of them it's their policy to try to keep you down.
Playahata.com: Keeping in line with you guys knowledge of whatís happening on the outside while incarcerated, are you aware that one of your former lawyers, Lynne Stewart, was found guilty of a conspiracy charge in representing "The Blind Sheik" from the 93 World Trade Center bombing?
Davis: I am certain Lynn would not be guilty of that, it sounds like payback for her representing so many unpopular and controversial cases like mine and other Black males. She is very intelligent and moral, they might have convicted her but I am sure that is a setup. I am certain that the state has targeted her.
Playahata.com: In the Troy Reed Documentary, The Larry Davis Story (most of the DVD can be seen on youtube.com, type in "Larry Davis Story", full DVD will require purchase) we see that you were often attacked by police in prison and beaten badly. Newspaper and TV often showed you in a wheel chair, how is your health status?
Davis: My health is great after the surgeries, I am doing fine. The harassment has not stopped.
Playahata.com: After 20 years?
Davis: I beat everything the police threw at me, everything against them I was acquitted of, they donít like that. I am in here after a few hung juries cause the law enforcement officials conspired to taint the jury pool with law enforcement officials and their families. Attributing the murder of a guy who like me was on police payroll and went to tell internal affairs about dirty cops cause he did not want to sell drugs for the NYPD anymore.
Playahata.com: When do you come out?
Davis: If I win my appeal as soon as it goes through but if not 2016 and since Senator David Patterson is Lieutenant Governor now, I stand a better chance because he had long called for an investigation into the case and he can ask Eliot Spitzer to grant me clemency.
Playahata.com: How can people reach you and support you?
Davis: They can write to me, contact my support network and visit my websites www.FreeLarrydavis.com or www.NYCLDENTERTAINMENT.COM. Write to: Larry Davis ID88T2550 SHAWANGUNK Correctional Facility P.O. Box 700 Wallkill, NY 12589 Contact offices numbers 718-329-6869 and 407-291-8427