Joanne Chesimard, who killed a New Jersey cop 40 years ago today, then escaped prison and fled to Cuba, has been labeled a terrorist and had a $2 million bounty put on her by the FBI, authorities said Thursday. Chesimard was serving a life term for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 when she escaped prison. After hiding out in a New Jersey safe house for several years, Chesimard managed to flee in 1979 to Cuba, where she has been living for decades under the name Assata Shakur. “Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist,” Aaron T. Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division, said at a press conference Thursday. “She absolutely is a threat to America.”
Chesimard, a member of the radical Black Liberation Army, shot and killed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster execution-style on May 2, 1973, after she and two others were pulled over for a routine traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, about an hour south of New York City. Chesimard, 26 at the time, was already known by the FBI for her involvement in the Black Panther movement. She had changed her name to Shakur and was now a leader of the Black Liberation Army — one of the most violent militant black organizations of the 1970s. She was wanted in connection with a string of felonies, including bank robberies in New York, see link
Black Liberation Army Thug George Wright Captured After 41 Years On The Run He Links to UHURU Movement in St Pete Fl. “David Wright, see photo insert above, and several other members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) commandeered a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit to Miami — Wright boarded the flight dressed as a priest, with a gun hidden in the cut-out pages of a Bible. His fellow members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) also boarded with weapons, and 88 passengers were held hostage. It was one of the most daring hijackings in U.S. history, and also one of the most humiliating for the FBI. Agents were forced to wear bathing suits to deliver a suitcase of cash to Wright and his fellow hijackers on a Miami runway. The hijackers wanted to be sure they weren’t carrying weapons”.
Composed largely of former Black Panthers (BPP), the organization’s program was one of “armed struggle” and its stated goal was to “take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States.”The BLA carried out a series of bombings, robberies (what participants termed “expropriations”), cop killing and prison breaks. The UHURU Movement in St Pete Fl run by ex-Black Panther Joe Waller aka Chairman Omali Yeshitela appears to be carrying on the tradition of the Black Liberation Army.
Assata Olugbala Shakur and the Black Liberation Army that killed 13 cops between 1968 and 1973 and then again in 1981, she is the aunt of Rapper Tupac Shakur. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was active in the US until at least 1981 when a Brinks truck robbery, conducted with support from Weather Underground members Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, left a guard and two police officers dead. Boudin and Gilbert, along with several BLA members, were subsequently arrested.
Assata Olugbala Shakur born as JoAnne Deborah Byron, married name Joanne Chesimard, see her photo above, is an escaped convict who was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes, of which she would never be charged, and made the subject of a multi-state manhunt. In 1972, Shakur was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after the FBI alleged that she was the “revolutionary mother hen” of a Black Liberation Army cell that had conducted a “series of cold-blooded murders of New York City police officers”,including the “execution style murders” of New York Police Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones on May 21, 1971 and Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie on January 28, 1972.
Shakur was alleged to have been directly involved with the Foster and Laurie murders, and involved with the Piagentini and Jones murders. Some sources go further, identifying Shakur as the de facto leader and the “soul of the Black Liberation Army” after the arrest of cofounder Dhoruba Moore. Robert Daley, Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police, for example, described Shakur as “the final wanted fugitive, the soul of the gang, the mother hen who kept them together, kept them moving, kept them shooting.
In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, during which New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur were killed and Shakur and Trooper James Harper were wounded. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.