New Podcast “Radical” Examines the Untold Story of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin
“Radical” explores the history and myth behind Al-Amin, digging through conspiracies and never-before-heard audio accounts to determine what really happened during the violent confrontation that has Al-Amin serving a life sentence in prison to this day.
The new investigative documentary podcast “Radical” delves into the life and murder conviction of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a prominent civil rights activist–turned–Muslim leader–turned–prisoner. The podcast explores the high-profile yet criminally under-covered shootout outside an Atlanta mosque in 2000 that left one Fulton County sheriff's deputy injured and another dead.
“Radical” spans eight parts over six hours and is hosted by the former Atlantan and investigative/literary journalist Mosi Secret. The show blends investigative journalism and true crime with neighborhood-level reporting to raise new questions on the shooting in 2000 and its subsequent aftermath. “Radical” explores the history and myth behind Al-Amin, digging through conspiracies and never-before-heard audio accounts to determine what really happened during the violent confrontation that has Al-Amin serving a life sentence in prison to this day.
Secret has a personal connection with Al-Amin — during his childhood, he attended a weeklong, military-style boot program in the North Georgia mountains with a group of young Black Muslim boys from the West End that Secret saw as being attracted to life in the streets. The camp was organized by Al-Amin, who was also the leader of Secret’s family’s mosque.
Before Al-Amin converted to Islam, he was known as the civil rights and Black power activist H. Rap Brown. Brown boasted a reputation as both a charismatic speaker and passionate revolutionary, and his strong opinions made him one of the most polarizing figures of the movement. He was an honorary officer in the Black Panther Party, and just like many of his peers, was a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO surveillance program. Secret says that Brown’s bold response to police violence and other forms of oppression, such as advocating for armed self-defense for oppressed communities, left law enforcement upset at all levels.
"Radical" delves into the night of March 16, 2000, when deputies Aldranon English and Ricky Kinchen attempted to serve a warrant on Al-Amin in Atlanta’s West End, tied to a stolen car. What happened next differs depending on who you ask — which is what the podcast sets out to explore — but there was a shootout that left Kinchen dead and English wounded. English later went on to identify Al-Amin as the gunman.
Despite the conviction, Al-Amin, his family and the local Muslim community maintain Al-Amin’s innocence, alleging government conspiracy. Even former Atlanta mayor Andy Young says the case “weighs heavy on my heart because I really think he was wrongfully convicted.” The series goes beyond a typical true crime narrative, serving as an audio investigative piece. It traces Al-Amin's journey from a prominent civil rights figure in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to his role as an imam credited with transforming Atlanta’s West End.
Al-Amin’s trial occurred shortly after the 9/11 attacks, amid heightened anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. Despite shaky evidence, Al-Amin received a life sentence. Maintaining his innocence, a "conviction integrity unit" began reviewing the case in 2020. Hosted by Mosi Secret, a former reporter for The New York Times and ProPublica with roots in Atlanta’s Black Muslim community, "Radical" takes listeners through a historical journey encompassing the Jim Crow South, the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Drugs and post-9/11 America.
“Radical” is the first of a multi-show deal from the combined power of podcast companies Tenderfoot TV and Campside Media. The first two shows announced, “Radical” and the upcoming “Cop City,” will focus on stories from Atlanta, GA. Like “Radical,” “Cop City” will explore the intersection between social justice, true crime and journalism.
“Jamil Al-Amin was a crucial figure in Black history, and a vibrant leader who played an integral role in establishing a religious community in one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods,” said Secret, “yet many people do not know his story. This podcast is not just a story of a brutal murder and a manhunt, but a complex historical and political story, and one that showcases the consequences of violence for a small community of African American Muslims in the South.”
“Radical” is distributed by iHeartPodcasts. The first two episodes of the show were released on Dec. 5, and the remaining six episodes will drop every Tuesday, looking at other possibilities and potential suspects from that night, and taking its host and producers into unexpected, sometimes dark places.