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Los Angeles, July 20 – Rap legend Tupac Shakur’s aunt Assata Shakur made history as the first woman to be listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List.
In 2013, Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Chesimard, was added to the Most Wanted list after almost 35 years on the run, reports mirror.co.uk.
Tupac’s aunt was found guilty of murdering a US police officer in 1977 but escaped from prison two years later.
In 1973, Assata was driving with fellow Black Liberation Army members Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli. Assata had joined the Black Liberation Army years prior and started using the name Assata in 1971.
The car was pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike by two state troopers, James Harper and Werner Foerster. The car was “slightly” over the speed limit and had a broken tail light.
Accounts differ of what happened, but a shootout occurred leaving Assata and Trooper Harper wounded, Zayd Malik Shakur was killed, and Trooper Foerster was shot in the head twice with his own gun and killed.
Five years after the murder, Assata was convicted of first-degree murder. Then in 1979, she escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey when three Black Liberation Army members visited her, drew guns, took two guards hostage, and then fled.
The now 76-year-old is living in Cuba, where she got political asylum in 1984. While there, she wrote Assata: An Autobiography in 1987. The book was republished in Britain in 2014 and a dramatised version appeared on BBC Radio 4 in 2017.
Since her escape, American officials have been trying to extradite her back to New Jersey to no avail. The reward for her capture and return is $2million. The latest attempt of her extradition was when then president Donald Trump gave a speech in 2017 where he called for “the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” calling Assata by her birth name.
Assata has her own website, admits she “spent six and a half years in prison under brutal circumstances before escaping out of the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women.”
Her website also has the tag line: “I have advocated and still advocate for revolutionary changes.”
Tupac Shakur, was killed in 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The murder is unsolved, but on Monday Las Vegas police searched a house in connection to the murder.