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Reward Doubled to $2M for N.J. Trooper's Killer

May 02, 2013  | 

Screenshot via FBI.
Screenshot via FBI.
The reward for the capture of a 1970s black nationalist who killed a New Jersey trooper doubled to $2 million on the 40th anniversary of the crime. The FBI also named Assata Shakur, who was previously known as Joanne Chesimard, to its Most Wanted Terrorists.

The New Jersey State Police has pledged $1 million to the existing $1 million reward offered by the FBI.

Shakur was convicted of killing Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in May of 1973. The trooper had pulled her over for a motor vehicle violation. She disarmed the trooper and fatally shot him with his service weapon.

"This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago," said Mike Rinaldi, a New Jersey State Police lieutenant and member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark. "Bringing Joanne Chesimard back here to face justice is still a top priority."

Following her conviction and sentencing, Shakur escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women on Nov. 2, 1979. While visiting her, three members of the Black Liberation Army drew concealed .45-caliber pistols, seized two guards as hostages and commandeered a prison van.

In 1984, Shakur fled to Cuba, where she was given asylum. There have been several unsuccessful attempts to extradite her. On May 2, 2005, the FBI classified her as a "domestic terrorist," increasing the reward for assistance in her capture to $1 million.

In 2011, President Obama skipped National Police Week events to host a poetry night with a performance from rapper Common, author of the work, "A song for Assata."


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