TALK SHOW HOST ARRESTED BECAUSE OF HER ACTIVISM
By Jannell McGrew
Radio talk show personality Roberta Franklin, a frequent critic of the judicial and prison systems, faces criminal charges on 28 counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Montgomery police arrested Franklin at her Montgomery home Tuesday before she was to appear on her talk show on WAPZ-AM, 1250.
She was released on $10,000 bond.
She is accused of presenting 24 forged prescriptions for Hydrocodone tablets, a painkiller, to a local pharmacy and of placing four illegal called-in prescriptions for Hydrocodone, a police warrant said.
"I am shocked and incensed by these unfounded charges," Franklin said.
Montgomery Police Lt. Huey Thornton said Franklin has been under investigation for several months.
Franklin said her talk show has generated much controversy over the past four months because of its continued criticism of the judicial system and Alabama's prison system.
She recently held a meeting with leaders of the New Black Panther Party at the Houston Hills Community Center. The organization, which says it is nonviolent and community-oriented, has been placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups.
Malik Zulu Shabazz, national New Black Panther Party chairman, also appeared on her show last month. Franklin, who continues to host her show, was reluctant to directly comment on whether she suspected a link between her activities and her subsequent arrest.
"I think it's a combination of all of all that I do," she said.
Robert Henderson, WAPZ-AM station manager, said he intends to keep Franklin on the air.
"She hasn't done anything to this station," he said. "She just talks about the issues."