The US Federal Government has put a $1 million bounty on the head of Tupac Shakur’s godmother Assata Shakur.
Assata Shakur, also known as JoAnne Chesimard, escaped a maximum security prison in America over 30 years ago and has since lived in Cuba. She was jailed after a clash between members of the Black Liberation Army and New Jersey State troopers which left two people dead on May 2 1973. The authorities maintain that Assata murdered a trooper executioner style after he was injured, but her lawyers charge that she herself was too severely wounded to do such and act. She was hit twice and her gunshot wounds were inflicted as she surrendered.
Assata was convicted and served six and a half years in prison at the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey.
In 1979, with the help of others, she escaped and found asylum in Cuba. She asserts that she was living in deplorable conditions and was brutalized by correctional officers. In her own words, Assata, now 57, has proclaimed her innocence in writings now widely posted online.
“I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government's policy towards people of colour.”
The bounty on Assata Shakur is the largest reward ever placed on an individual in the state of New Jersey.