Tupac’s Godmother Has Been Put On The FBI’S Most Wanted List!
In the early 90’s, there was arguably no bigger name in the world of rap than that of Lesane Parish Crooks, or as most of the world knew him, Tupac Amaru Shakur. Born in East Harlem, New York, on June 16th, 1971, he was assassinated later in life via a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 13th, 1996.
Tupac’s career was legendary. He released five albums while alive and his estate released another five after his passing. There are also numerous live albums, compilation CD’s, and features where he appeared on other artists’ tracks. The list is far too long to list here, but you are welcome to check out the wikipedia page dedicated to the discography of this illustrious performer.
On top of his musical talents, he was also a rather talented actor who starred in nine films and made various appearances on television. There have also been 14 documentaries dedicated to the man and his life. Tupac, despite his many accolades, ran into some legal trouble throughout his life. He sued the Oakland Police Department for $10 million in 1991 when he was brutally beaten by officers for jaywalking and was awarded $43,000.
In 1992, a dispute broke out at a Marin City concert where a pistol registered to Shakur was fired and the discharged bullet struck a 6-year old boy in the head, killing him 100 yards away while he rode his bike around at a playground. No charges were filed, but the boy’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Shakur and was awarded roughly $500,000.
In 1993, he attacked fellow rapper Chauncy Wynn with a baseball bat and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 35 hours of community service, however, 20 days of his sentence were suspended.
In October 1993, Shakur was involved in shootout with two off-duty police officers who were drunk and in possession of stolen firearms. The officers were crossing the street when a car Shakur was in, passed the men and their wives closely. An argument ensued and one of the officers drew and fired a weapon which prompted Shakur to respond, shooting both men. No one died and although Shakur was initially charged for the shooting, all charges were eventually dropped.
Shakur was convicted of first degree sexual abuse for an assault that happened against a woman in a hotel room. Tupac served 9 months in prison, but he appealed his conviction and Suge Knight posted the $1.4 million required for bail. While out on bail, Shakur violated the terms of his release and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
Finally in 1993, Shakur spent 15 days in jail for assaulting the director of “Menace II Society” and even bragged about the attack on Yo! MTV Raps. Clips of the interview were used against him in court.
Everyone that knows of Tupac knows about the reported circumstances and the theorised happenings surrounding his death, but some may not know that in November of 1994, while at Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan, Shakur was robbed and shot five times.
Aside from Tupac himself, Joanne Chesimard or Assata Shakur (now 66), is known as Tupac’s godmother, and just recently, she was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. To date, she’s the first woman to be added on the list and the second person added to the list for being a “domestic terrorist”. Once you learn about her track record though, you’ll understand why.
On April 5th, 1971, she was charged with attempted armed robbery, felonious assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of a deadly weapon for a dispute that occurred at the Statler Hilton Hotel. During this confrontation, she was shot in the stomach.
In August of the same year, she was a suspect in a Queens bank robbery and December of ‘71, she was also named as a suspect in an attack on a police car in New York involving a grenade where two officers were injured. And in January of 1972, she was wanted in regards to an assault in Brooklyn on an officer issuing a traffic summons. That same year, she was a suspect in two more bank robberies and another robbery at a church in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
In late 1972, a manhunt for Joanne started as she was named the leader of a cell for the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and a series of attacks left a handful of NYPD officers dead.
At noon on the 2nd of May 1973, Joanne and her accomplices were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike by state troopers named James Harper and Werner Foster. Initially, the traffic stop was because of a broken taillight and “minor speeding,” but things quickly escalated into all out chaos.
Reports of the event differ from troopers to suspects and witnesses, but what is known is that Joanne’s boyfriend was killed along with state trooper Foster who was shot twice in the head with his own gun. Assata and state trooper Harper were both wounded in the shootout, and after a manhunt and chase, Joanne was arrested and in the vehicle, police found a book containing alleged targets for terrorist-style attacks.
She faced charges for all of the crimes listed above including two bank robberies, kidnapping, attempted murder and eight felonies related to the shootout on the turnpike. Of all the crimes and charges, she only ended up being convicted of the ones related to the shootout. In the end, after years of lengthy court battles, she was sentenced to 26-33 years in prison on top of her mandatory life sentence for being an accomplice to the murder of the state trooper.
She escaped from prison on November 2nd, 1979, when members of the BLA visited her in prison using false identification and carried in concealed .45 pistols with them. They took two guards hostage and stole a van from the prison. They drove to a waiting Mercury Comet and disappeared. Years of searching and raids followed, but due to the community’s lack of cooperation, authorities were unable to locate Joanne.
By 1984, she made her way to Cuba and was granted political asylum by the Cuban government. From 1997 to 2005, numerous attempts were made by various government agencies in the United States to have Joanne extradited. As of 2013, the reward for her capture is $2 million dollars.
On May 2nd of 2013, she moved to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorist – it was also the 40th anniversary of the shootout in New Jersey. To some, she’s hailed as a revolutionary activist, but to others, she’s just regarded as a heartless criminal.