Don’t get your hopes up, guys.
State authorities today said they hope the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations announced by the president will aid the capture and return of Joanne Chesimard, who escaped prison and fled to the island nation after being convicted of killing a N.J. State Police trooper.
“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 in 1973,” State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement.
Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army, was convicted in 1977 of murdering Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike. She was sentenced to life in prison, but two years later escaped.
After hiding out for years, Chesimard resurfaced in Cuba in the mid-1980s and was granted asylum by the nation’s former leader, Fidel Castro. Since then, she has been living under the protection of the Castro family and going by the name Assata Shakur.
State authorities have made numerous efforts to extradite her, including an appeal to Pope John Paul II, who made a historic trip to Cuba in 1998. In 2013, she was the first woman named to the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, indicating state and U.S. law enforcement consider her one of the greatest threats to the American government.
The FBI and the State Police are offering $2 million for information leading to her capture.
“We continue to work closely with the FBI towards the capture of Joanne Chesimard, a convicted felon and fugitive who escaped from jail in 1979 and remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List, as well as New Jersey’s Most Wanted List,” Fuentes said. “We stand by the reward money and hope that the total of two million dollars will prompt fresh information in the light of the altered relationship.”
Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn raised three children. One is named Malik (the Muslim name of Malcolm X). Another is named Zayd (after Zayd Shakur, a Black Liberation Army revolutionary who was killed while driving the cop-killer JoAnne Chesimard — a.k.a. Assata Shakur — to a hideout). The third, a boy named Chesa Boudin, was raised by Ayers and Dohrn after his natural parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their roles in the 1981 Brinks murders, a joint Weatherman and Black Liberation Army operation that resulted in the killing of two police officers and an armed guard.
Leftwing agitators are already pushing for granting her clemency.
Meanwhile, as the U.S. removes Cuba from the terrorist list, it needs to remove Shakur from the list as well. According to the FBI, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder were involved in placing Shakur on that list. Nevertheless, at a time of heightened political consciousness, when black people are railing against racially-motivated police killings and the targeting of African-Americans by the system, the extradition of a black activist who was framed and railroaded would cause an uproar among the black community, putting Obama and the Justice Department in a bad way with a key constituency.
Framed and railroaded? Really?
The BLA has also worked with the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), another domestic terrorist group. In 1970 the WUO, led by William Ayers, declared war against the United States Government and engaged in a series of high profile bombings. The Ayers organization and the BLA were also involved in the armed prison escape of Joanne Chesimard, in which officers were taken hostage at gunpoint. In a continuum of violence and crime, the WUO and the BLA were responsible for the infamous 1981 Brinks robbery, where police officers and security personnel were murdered. William Ayers was not convicted for his crimes due to procedural errors during the manhunt. Ayers, however, admitted to his crimes. This admission was not from a sense of repentance but from a sense of regret that he didn’t commit more crimes. Today, William Ayers is a college professor and friends with Barack Obama according to a mutual houseguest, Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician. According to Barack Obama’s own campaign, Ayers and Obama are “certainly friendly.”
Don’t expect any “mainstream” media to point any of this out today.