(The Guardian) – New Jersey officials hope the thaw in diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba will make it easier to extradite a former Black Panther Party member convicted of killing a state trooper in a controversial 40-year-old case.
Joanne Chesimard, who changed her name to Assata Shakur, was convicted in the 1973 death of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster. Prosecutors say Shakur killed Foerster in a shootout after she and two Black Panther affiliates were pulled over for allegedly driving with a broken taillight on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Two years after her conviction, in 1979, Shakur escaped from prison with the assistance of Black Liberation Army members. She resurfaced in Cuba in the 1980s, and Fidel Castro granted her asylum there.
Shakur was rapper Tupac Shakur’s step-aunt and godmother.