Domestic terrorist Assata Shakur — also known as Joanne Chesimard — is on the FBI Most Wanted list and has a $2 million bounty on her head, so with the normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S., will she be extradited for the cold blooded killing of a New Jersey cop in 1973?
In May of 1973, the convicted murderer and fugitive was a member of the Black Liberation Army and had been in a car with two fellow members. New Jersey state troopers Werner Foerster and James Harper pulled them over on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The FBI Most Wanted terrorist engaged in a shootout with the troopers which resulted in the murder of Foerster and serious injuries for Harper. Assata Shakur was charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping for several other crimes between 1973 and 1977. That year, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and seven additional felonies related to the shootout.
In 2013, the FBI announced that Shakur was the first woman on its Most Wanted terrorist list. The convicted cop killer escaped from prison in 1979 and after being on the run for several years reached Cuba, where she was granted asylum in 1984.
With President Obama’s announcement that relations between the two nations will be normalized and an American embassy will soon open in the capital of Havana, family of the murdered New Jersey cop are asking that Assata Shakur be returned to the U.S. to complete serving her life sentence for Foerster murder.
There have been several requests to return the convicted, wanted murderer, including one from the New Jersey State Police to then Pope John Paul II in 1997. In the letter officials asked the Holy Father to bring up the case of Assata Shakur during his visit to Cuba. It is unclear whether the Pope ever received or read the request.
“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper,” state Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement to The Star-Ledger.
Even though it has been more than 40-years since Assata Shakur murdered the New Jersey state trooper, special agent in charge of the FBI in Newark is not giving up in his efforts to bring the Most Wanted terrorist to justice.
“(The FBI) will continue to utilize all available resources in our attempt to apprehend Joanne Chesimard, no matter where in the world she is located.”
“As long as there is an active warrant for… Chesimard, the FBI will continue to pursue justice, regardless of how long it takes, and are hopeful any changes in relations between the United States and Cuba will assist us with her apprehension and return.”
Do you think the Obama Administration should have asked for the extradition of Assata Shakur to the Cuban dictator?
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