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Chesimard, Joanne (1948–)

Chesimard, Joanne (1948–)

African-American radical and terrorist. Name variations: now goes by the name Assata Shakur; has used such aliases as Barbara Odoms, Mary Davis, Justine Henderson, Joanne Byron, Josephine Henderson, and Joanne Chesterman. Born July 16, 1948, in Brooklyn, NY; aunt of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur; children: 1 daughter.

Was a member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA); while traveling with BLA members James Costan and Clark Squire, was stopped for traffic violation by New Jersey state trooper James Harper (May 2, 1973), who was wounded in an ensuing gun battle, while trooper Werner Foerster, who next arrived on scene, was killed along with Costan; with Squire, was convicted of murder, assault, robbery and weapons offenses and sentenced to life imprisonment (1977); escaped from Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, NJ (1979); made her way to Cuba, which has no extradition treaty with US (1986); took the name Assata Shakur.

See also autobiography Assata (1987).

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