38 Facts About Assata Shakur


In May 1973, Shakur was arrested after being wounded in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike.


State Trooper Harper was wounded; Zayd Assata Shakur was killed; State Trooper Foerster was killed.


Between 1973 and 1977, Assata Shakur was charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping in relation to the shootout and six other incidents.


In 1950, Assata Shakur's parents divorced and she moved with her grandparents to Wilmington, North Carolina.


In Oakland, Assata Shakur worked with the BPP to organize protests and community education programs.


In 1987, Assata Shakur confirmed to a journalist that there was a drug connection in this incident but refused to elaborate.


On December 21,1971, Assata Shakur was named by the New York City Police Department as one of four suspects in a hand grenade attack that destroyed a police car and injured two officers in Maspeth, Queens.

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In 1972, Assata Shakur became the subject of a nationwide manhunt after the FBI alleged that she led a Black Liberation Army cell that had conducted a "series of cold-blooded murders of New York City police officers".


Specifically, documentary evidence suggests that Shakur was targeted by an investigation named CHESROB, which "attempted to hook former New York Panther Joanne Chesimard to virtually every bank robbery or violent crime involving a black woman on the East Coast".


Years later when she was living in Cuba, Assata Shakur was asked about the BLA's alleged involvement in the killings of police officers.


Acoli was driving the two-door vehicle, Assata Shakur was seated in the right front seat, and Zayd Shakur was in the right rear seat.


Zayd Assata Shakur's body was found in a nearby gully along the road.


Between 1973 and 1977, in New York and New Jersey, Assata Shakur was indicted ten times, resulting in seven different criminal trials.


The trial was delayed for a few days after Assata Shakur was diagnosed with pleurisy.


Kennedy objected to this identification on the grounds that the prosecutor, assistant United States attorney Peter Truebner, had offered to stipulate that Assata Shakur was not depicted in any of the photographs.


On this basis, Assata Shakur unsuccessfully attempted to remove the trial to federal court.


In July 1973, after being indicted by a grand jury, Assata Shakur pleaded not guilty in Federal Court in Brooklyn to an indictment related to a $7,700 robbery of the Bankers Trust Company bank in Queens on August 31,1971.


The trial was delayed until 1976, when Assata Shakur was represented by Stanley Cohen and Evelyn Williams.


One bank employee testified that Assata Shakur was one of the bank robbers, but three other bank employees testified that they were uncertain.


The prosecution showed surveillance photos of four of the six alleged robbers, contending that one of them was Assata Shakur wearing a wig.


The jury determined that a widely circulated FBI photo allegedly showing Assata Shakur participating in the robbery was not her.


The prosecution argued that Assata Shakur had fired the bullets that had wounded Harper, while the defense argued that the now deceased Zayd had fired them.


Under cross-examination, Assata Shakur was unable to explain how three magazines of ammunition and 16 live shells had gotten into her shoulder bag; she admitted to knowing that Zayd Assata Shakur carried a gun at times, and specifically to seeing a gun sticking out of Acoli's pocket while stopping for supper at a Howard Johnson's restaurant shortly before the shooting.


The reports then state that after Acoli complied, and as Harper was looking inside the vehicle to examine the registration, Trooper Foerster yelled and held up an ammunition magazine as Assata Shakur simultaneously reached into her red pocketbook, pulled out a 9mm handgun and fired at him.


Trooper Harper's reports then state that he ran to the rear of his car and shot at Assata Shakur who had exited the vehicle and was firing from a crouched position next to the vehicle.

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One prospective juror was dismissed for reading Target Blue, a book by Robert Daley, a former New York City Deputy Police Commander, which dealt in part with Assata Shakur and had been left in the jury assembly room.


When Judge Appleby told the court attendants to "remove the prisoner", Assata Shakur herself replied: "the prisoner will walk away on her own feet".


In October 1977, New York State Superior Court Justice John Starkey dismissed murder and robbery charges against Assata Shakur related to the death of Richard Nelson during a hold-up of a Brooklyn social club on December 28,1972, ruling that the state had delayed too long in bringing her to trial.


On November 22,1977, Assata Shakur pleaded not guilty to an attempted armed robbery indictment stemming from the 1971 incident at the Statler Hilton Hotel.


At Alderson, Assata Shakur was housed in the Maximum Security Unit, which contained several members of the Aryan Sisterhood as well as Sandra Good and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, followers of Charles Manson.


On February 20,1979, after the Maximum Security Unit at Alderson was closed, Assata Shakur was transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey.


In early 1979, "the Family", a group of BLA members, began to plan Assata Shakur's escape from prison.


On November 2,1979, Assata Shakur escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey, when three members of the Black Liberation Army visiting her drew concealed.


At the rally, a statement from Assata Shakur was circulated condemning US prison conditions and calling for an independent "New Afrikan" state.


Since her escape, Assata Shakur has been charged with unlawful flight to avoid imprisonment.


Black NJ State Trooper Anthony Reed sued the police force because, among other things, persons had hung posters of Assata Shakur, altered to include Reed's badge number, in a Newark barracks.


The Chicago Black activist group Assata Shakur's Daughters is named in her honor.


In July 2017, the Women's March official Twitter feed celebrated Assata Shakur's birthday, leading to criticism from some right-wing media outlets.