County Court Writes A $15,000 Check To One Of The FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’ 2

FILE – In this April 25, 1977, file photo, Joanne Chesimard, member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, leaves Middlesex County courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J. Now known as Assata Shakur, Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper four years earlier, and was sentenced to life in prison but escaped and wound up in Cuba in the 1980s, where she continues to reside. AP Photo, File

By Camila Molina, cmolina@newsobserver.com

A county in North Carolina wrote a $15,000 check to Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Deborah Chesimard, a woman whom the U.S. government has identified as a convicted murderer, fugitive and domestic terrorist.

Shakur was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.

In the 1970s, Shakur was convicted for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper. Shakur escaped prison in 1979 and lived underground for the next five years, according to Vice.

In 1985 she fled to Cuba, where she received political asylum and continues to live today. In 2013, The FBI identified her as one of the agency’s “Most Wanted Terrorists,” offering $1 million and an additional $1 million offered by the state of New Jersey for information leading to her capture and return to the U.S.

So why would New Hanover County, a coastal community in North Carolina, write a check to one of the federal government’s top priority fugitives?

Shakur is one of the last Freeman family descendants sought by a private company that has purchased land near Freeman Park in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Port City Daily reported. The Superior Court of New Hanover helped negotiate a selling price for the Freeman descendants and held the company’s payment to be given to the heirs.

A superior court judge signed a court order saying it was not aware of a legal reason to withhold the payment from Shakur, the daily reported, and on April 3 the Superior Court Clerk of New Hanover County wrote a check to Shakur for $15,351.39.

Although the land deal began more than 10 years ago, the sale was delayed until this April because at first Shakur’s whereabouts was unknown, and there were multiple attempts to contact some of her family members, based on court documents the daily reviewed.

Shakur made at least one appearance in the U.S. for the land deal in May 2015 when she went to Manhattan to sign a power of attorney to her sister Beverly Goins.

By August 2017, the same attorney who represented her during her murder trial began the process to secure the company’s payment through her sister.

The FBI and the Office of the U.S. Attorney are investigating whether any laws were broken during the deal, the daily reported.

She’s the first woman on the FBI’s most wanted list and is still being sought.

 

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Wanted Terrorist Seen as Symbol for U.S.-Cuban Differences 1

It was a murder on the New Jersey Turnpike – stunning violence near the New Brunswick exit. Now, decades after Black Liberation Army leader Joanne Chesimard was sentenced for the 1973 killing of a state trooper, escaped prison, and surfaced in Cuba in 1984, she is first and foremost among the estimated 70 American fugitives harbored there whose apparent flouting of U.S. law is fuel for critics of recent efforts to restore U.S.-Cuba relations.

In December, 54 years after America severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, Presidents Obama and Raul Castro proposed a renewal of ties. “We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring [Chesimard] back,” said New Jersey State Police Col. Rick Fuentes, “and stand by the reward” for her capture.

Read entire feature here:  Philadelphia Inquirer

 

 

FONTOVA: The Castro-coddled cop killer 1

The ‘most-wanted terrorist’ mocks U.S. justice from Cuba

By Humberto Fontova in the Washington Times

On May 2, the FBI announced a $1 million reward for “information leading to the apprehension” of Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, who they named a “most-wanted terrorist.” Chesimard is the first woman to make the FBI’s list. The New Jersey State Police then added another $1 million to the reward pot.

Convicted cop-killer (of a New Jersey state trooper) and “domestic terrorist” Chesimard has been living in Cuba since 1984 as a Castro-coddled celebrity of sorts. And it’s not like bounty hunters can operate freely in a Stalinist country. So the $2 million may be symbolic. As in the U.S. Justice Department putting on a game face and saying: “Look, Castro, we’re serious here.”
In the early 1970s, Chesimard belonged to a Black Panther offshoot known as the Black Liberation Army. “This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago,” according to a recent press release from Mike Rinaldi, of the New Jersey State Police. “Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a radical left-wing terror group that felt justified killing law enforcement officers. … This group conducted assaults on police stations and murdered police officers.”

More than a mere member of these domestic terrorists, Chesimard was described by former FBI Assistant Director John Miller as “the soul of the Black Liberation Army.”

In 1973, while wanted for multiple crimes from bank robbery to murder, Chesimard and two accomplices were pulled over for a taillight violation on the New Jersey Turnpike. As the troopers were routinely questioning them, Chesimard (who was in the passenger seat) and her pals opened up on the lawmen with semi-automatic pistols (no word on whether these were properly registered.)

As Trooper Werner Foerster grappled with the driver, Chesimard shot him twice — then her gun apparently jammed. As Foerster lay on the ground wounded and helpless, Chesimard grabbed the trooper’s own gun and blasted two shots into his head, much in the manner of her Cuban idols Che Guevara and Raul Castro killing hundreds of their own (always defenseless at the time) “counterrevolutionary” enemies.

“This crime was always considered an act of domestic terrorism,” stresses Mr. Rinaldi. She escaped, but was captured in 1977, convicted of murder and sentenced to life plus 33 years. Then in 1979 she escaped from prison — and with some professional help, probably by Cuban or Cuban-trained terrorists. “Two men smuggled into the prison, took guards hostages and broke her out,” explained John Miller to CBS News.

Chesimard’s 1979 escape from prison was well-planned, Mr. Rinaldi explained. “Armed domestic terrorists gained entry into the facility, neutralized the guards, broke her free, and turned her over to a nearby getaway team.” “In 1984, they smuggled her to Mexico. Using a network of Cuban intelligence officers who worked with American radical groups, they got her into Cuba,” adds Mr. Miller. Since then, according to New Jersey State Police Col. Rick Fuentes, Chesimard “flaunts her freedom. … To this day, from her safe haven in Cuba, Chesimard has been given a pulpit (by Castro) to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the United States by any means necessary. She has been used by the Castro regime to greet foreign delegations visiting Cuba.” “Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist,” declared FBI agent Aaron T. Ford, during a recent news conference. “She absolutely is a threat to America.”

Along with coddling Chesimard, Castro’s fiefdom provides haven for more than 70 other fugitives from U.S. law, including several on the FBI’s most-wanted listed. Cuba harbors convicted cop-killers Michael Finney and Charlie Hill, along with Victor Gerena, responsible for a $7 million heist of a Wells Fargo truck in Connecticut in 1983, as a member of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, Los Macheteros. All requests by U.S. authorities for these criminals’ extradition have been rebuffed, often cheekily by Fidel Castro himself: “They want to portray her as a terrorist, something that was an injustice, a brutality, an infamous lie!” is how he answered a U.S. request for Chesimard on May 3, 2005.

Humberto Fontova is author of “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant” (Regnery, 2005).

Is Cuba’s Longtime Status as a Terrorist Safe Haven Becoming a Liability? Reply

Washington Times OP/ED: Assata Shakur, Terrorist — The FBI Accurately Labels a Cop-killer

Not a month has passed since the Patriots’ Day bombings in Boston, and the hand-wringers are already mumbling that the FBI made the wrong call when it designated 65-year-old fugitive Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, as a terrorist. If words have meanings, of course she is.

That 40 years have passed since her conviction does not dim or erase the impact of her crimes as a member of a radical group known as the Black Liberation Army, which was formed by disgruntled former Black Panther Party members. The Panthers were not radical enough. The liberation army aimed to “take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States.”

Assata Shakur and two others took up arms in a gunfight on the New Jersey Turnpike in May 1973. Prosecutors said she shot New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster twice in the head, using the officer’s own gun, taken from him when her accomplice tackled him. He left a wife and two children, one of whom, Eric, became a state trooper himself.

After a 1977 murder conviction, armed Black Liberation Army members broke her out of prison. She is thought to have spent four years in “safe houses” in the United States before making her way to Cuba, where Fidel Castro granted her asylum. She has remained in touch with family, friends and supporters, safe so far from extradition and justice.

Eric Foerster decries the life of comfort of his father’s killer. The passage of the years has not healed the wound inflicted on his family. “It is a loss that will stay with us forever,” he tells Fox News.

The killer is unrepentant; she revels in her crimes. In an open letter to Pope John Paul II, who was visiting in Havana in 1998, she confessed her “guilt” for supporting revolution: “I advocate self-determination for my people and for all oppressed inside the United States. I advocate an end to capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism, and the elimination of political repression. If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty.”

That’s hardly the only crime of which she is “totally guilty.” She was a member of an organization that employed violence to advance a political cause, which is precisely what terrorists do. Her cause has died — interest in the Black Liberation Army has since dissolved — but Assata Shakur has yet to pay for her crimes. Putting a little pressure on the Cuban government for her extradition, while not likely to succeed, is nevertheless the right thing to do.

To compromise, Castro’s government wouldn’t have to send her out of Cuba. There’s already a cell waiting at Guantanamo Bay.