May 4, 2013


Tupac Shakur's Godmother on FBI Most-Wanted Terrorists List

Ron Galella
Ron Galella

Tupac Shakur's godmother has been added to the FBI's Most-Wanted Terrorists list. Joanne Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur, is the famed California rapper's aunt. She was also (according to the Independent) an inspiration for fellow rapper Common who preformed "A Song for Assata" in 2000. Chesimard is the first woman to ever be on the list and only the second domestic terrorist, the New York Times reports. 

Aaron T. Ford, an agent in charge of the F.BI.'s Newark division, noted that Chesimard was added to the list because she is "a supreme terror against the government" who continues to promote revolution and terrorism against the United States.

"She’s a danger to the American government," he said.

The now 66-year-old woman was convicted in 1977 for the murder of Werner Foerster--a 34-year-old state trooper on the New Jersey Turnpike. She escaped prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba.

The murder occurred on May 2nd, 1973, after Foerster (and another trooper) stopped a car containing Chesimard and two others. An associate of Chesimard's and Foerster were both killed in the incident; Chesimard was also shot in the shoulder during the gunfire.

According to The New York Times, there are many Chesimard supporters who do not believe that she killed Foerster—noting that her shoulder injury would have made firing a weapon very difficult.

They also view the recent addition of her name to the Most-Wanted Terrorists list as an attempt to highlight the 40th anniversary of Trooper Foerster's murder--and to show heightened terrorism awareness following the Boston Marathon Bombings last month. One outspoken supporter is Rutgers criminal justice professor, Lennox S. Hinds.

"The allegation that Ms. Shakur is a terrorist is unfounded," Hinds said. "The attempt at this point by the New Jersey State Police to characterize her as a terrorist is designed to inflame the public who may be unfamiliar with the facts."

The reward for Chesimard's capture was doubled to $2 million after she was added to the list.