Yesterday, the AP reported that the FBI put Joanne Chesimard — a.k.a. Assata Shakur — on its Most Wanted Terrorists list, and announced a reward of $2 million for anyone whose information leads to her capture. After being found guilty, along with two other members of the violent Black Liberation Army, of murdering a New Jersey state trooper forty years ago to the day, Chesimard fled to Cuba. The revolutionary regime of Fidel Castro granted her asylum, and honored her not as a murderer and thug but as a fellow revolutionary freedom fighter.
“She continues to flaunt her freedom in the face of this horrific crime,” State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said at a news conference yesterday. Fuentes called the case “an open wound” for troopers in New Jersey and around the nation. The shooting of trooper Werner Foerster during a routine traffic stop, in which Shakur and her comrades quickly started firing at the police, led to Foerster’s death and the injury of his partner.
The BLA was responsible in the ’70s and ’80s for the deaths of over 12 police officers.
They considered such actions as revolutionary acts against occupiers of the ghetto, and not as illegal, but as a response to acts of war instigated on the black community by the imperialist U.S. government. Hence, when they shot police they were acting as soldiers opposed to the U.S. that was making war against them.
While in Cuba, Chesimard has often been brought by Cuban authorities to meet with gullible revolutionary tourists, who still travel there as political pilgrims seeking to see what life in paradise is like. And in our country, black radicals still treat her as a hero.
A few years back, the rapper known as “Common” released a song praising her action. The rapper’s version of events differs significantly from that portrayed in the Newark Division of the FBI’s official press release.
While “Common” says Chesimard was lying in a puddle of blood gasping for breath, “shot twice wit her hands up/police questioned but shot before she answered,” the FBI report reveals the truth, which accords with the philosophy of the group and the proud boasts of other BLA prisoners about how they regularly sought to kill police. The report tells us the following:
On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike by Troopers James Harper and Werner Foerster for a motor vehicle violation. All three subjects possessed fictitious identification, and, unbeknownst to the troopers, all three were armed with semi-automatic handguns. From the front passenger seat, Chesimard fired the first shot, wounding Trooper James Harper in the shoulder. As Harper moved for cover, Chesimard exited the car and continued to fire at both troopers until she was wounded by Harper’s return fire.
The rear seat passenger, James Coston, also fired at the troopers and was mortally wounded by Trooper Harper. Trooper Werner Foerster was engaged in a hand-to-hand combat with the vehicle’s driver, Clark Squire. Foerster was severely wounded in his right arm and abdomen and then executed with his own service weapon on the roadside. Chesimard’s jammed handgun was found at Foerster’s side.
Special Agent Aaron T. Ford, head of the FBI Newark Division, is certainly correct when he states that “Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist who murdered a law enforcement officer execution-style.”
It is no surprise that the Left, or sections of it, still defend Chesimard/Shakur. It is another thing, however, to read the New York Times story that appears on the top news page of the paper’s website.