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Wanted: Assata Shakur

I've been meaning to blog this for weeks but i keep forgetting. We keep seeing a billboard like this on the Turnpike on our drive home on Friday nights.

Assata Shakur billboard.

I didn't take the above picture; it's from this site.

The first time i saw it i made a noise that made min slam on the brakes (sorry!). For anyone who doesn't know, Assata Shakur was a Black Panther that was convicted of shooting a state trooper. In the late 70s, she escaped from prison and and fled to Cuba, where she has been living for three+ decades. Shakur's story is difficult, and many people maintain that she was innocent or set up.

When i saw that billboard i thought she had for some reason come back to the US and maybe even launched some new attack or something (she's 66 years old). But that's not the case. For some reason, the FBI has recently added her to the terrorist watchlist and now they are putting up billboards in New Jersey.

I can't find any straight news organizations covering this. Here's the most comprehensive article i've found (note: a goddamn video will start playing as soon as you load the page). But it does seem to be an egregious and arbitrary decision to call her a terrorist and start putting up Wanted signs for her in May 2013.

By fnord12 | June 3, 2013, 3:11 PM | Liberal Outrage


I saw her on the billboards on 287. Someone told me she was related to Tupac and she shot a state trooper then fled the country. Since when is shooting a cop considered terrorism??

She was Tupac's step-aunt. Tupac was her brother's step-son.

I'm sure a lot of people would argue that killing a police officer while a member of a radical political group should be considered terrorism. Her story is complicated and i don't really want to weigh in on that. But putting up Wanted billboards calling her a terrorist some 40 years after the fact in New Jersey when it's well known she's in exile in Cuba is pretty clearly not designed to "catch" her but has some other purpose.