In a 2016 post on Facebook an on several other occasions, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors praised an accomplice in a 1973 cop killing, according to a report by FOX News.
Assata Shakur, also known as JoAnne Chesimard, was convicted of being complicit in the roadside slaying of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, which left his wife a widow and his 3-year-old son fatherless.
Shakur subsequently escaped prison and fled to Cuba, where she was granted asylum by former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.
“Assata Shakur we love you. Fight for you and because of you. On this day and everyday [sic],” Cullors wrote in the 2016 post on Facebook.
Another Facebook post, in 2015, had Cullors remembering Shakur’s arrest and the fatal shooting of Zayd Shakur on May 2, 1973. According to FBI reports, Assata Shakur was wanted at the time for felonies including bank robbery. She, Zayd Shakur and Sundiata Acoli opened fire on Foerster after being pulled over for a traffic stop.
A 2013 press release from the FBI states that the trio fired the first shot.
Zayd Shakur was fatally wounded during the shootout, and Assata Shakur and Acoli ended up in custody. Assata Shakur and her supporters continue to maintain her innocence. All three were members of the Black Liberation Army, which the FBI describes as one of “the most violent militant organizations of 1970s.”
“Today, May 2nd is the anniversary of Assata Shakur’s capture and the murder of Zayd Shakur,” Cullors wrote at the time. “It is also the 10th anniversary of the FBI declaring Assata a domestic terrorist and placing the [$1 million] bounty on her head.”
She continued: “Over the past year we have seen the movement and people at large elevating Assata worldwide chanting the excerpt from her letter and proudly wearing Assata Taught Me sweatshirts. Today…we ask that people take a moment to uplift our sister Assata Shakur by posting on social media how Assata has inspired them and why she is important to the current Black Lives Matter movement.”