New NJ AG: Get Chesimard by all
Monday, February 27, 2012
By PAUL MICKLE
In one his first moves as New Jersey’s top lawman, Attorney General
Jeffrey S. Chiesa is urging the FBI to increase the reward to $5
million for Joanne Chesimard, who killed a state trooper in 1973 and
is believed to be living in Cuba.
“We will not rest until Joanne Chesimard is behind bars in New Jersey
and justice is done for Trooper (Werner) Foerster, who was brutally
murdered in the line of duty,” Chiesa said Monday. “Raising the reward
(from $1 million) to $5 million may help us secure her capture, and it
is a small price to pay in the name of our fallen officer.”
Chesimard, now 64, and two accomplices were convicted in the fatal
shooting of Foerster during a traffic stop in May 1973 just south of
Exit 9 on the New Jersey Turnpike.
According to the FBI, Chesimard was part of the Black Liberation Army
at the time, and was wanted for her involvement in several felonies,
including bank robbery. When they were stopped on the turnpike, the
FBI said, Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers,
seemingly without provocation.
She was arrested five miles away, convicted and sentenced to life
imprisonment. In 1979, she broke out of a women’s prison.
After landing in Cuba in the early 1980s, Chesimard was installed at
the state-controlled Havana University as a professor and took the
name of Assata Shakur. In recent years, however, she had not lived in
the public eye in Cuba, due to fears she’ll be kidnapped by bounty
Last week, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) called on FBI Director
Robert Mueller to support Chiesa and the Jersey state police by taking
the reward from $1 million to $5 million and adding Chesimard to the
FBI’s separate top-ten lists of fugitives and terrorists.
“Given that law enforcement has worked collaboratively on this effort
for nearly 33 years, I feel these final steps are necessary to ensure
that Chesimard is captured and returned to the United States to serve
her sentence,’’ Menendez said.
The FBI did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
State Police Superintendent Col. Joseph “Rick’’ Fuentes said
authorities want Chesimard alive. Fuentes and other top law
enforcement officers from New Jersey will travel to Washington this
week to formally nominate Chesimard as a candidate for the FBI’s top
Five years ago, Fuentes said the $1 million reward “creates a very,
very strong profit motive.”
“We got a lot of calls and every one of those calls was checked out.
This has always been a very big case to us and the FBI,” he said at
The $5 million figure being talked about now “is expected to
reenergize people who know where she is,’’ he said Monday.
Vicente "Panama' Alba
"Lets Be Realistic
Lets Do The Impossible"
Ernesto "Che" Guevara