This Day in Black History: Oct. 31, 1993

Tupac Shakur was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Posted: 10/31/2013 12:00 AM EDT

Late legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was known for his poetic rhymes, rebellious attitude and “thug life” mentality. While his hardcore lyrics about Black-on-Black crime and police brutality, among other topics, continue to live beyond his 1996 death, Shakur's life was plagued by some of the issues he blasted in song. 

Tupac was 22 years old on Oct. 31, 1993, when he was charged with aggravated assault in the shooting of brothers Mark and Scott Whitwell, both off-duty Atlanta police officers.

The California-based rapper and his crew were in ATL to perform at Clark Atlanta University, but the trip took a turn for the worse when cars carrying ‘Pac and his posse almost struck  the Whitwell brothers while they were crossing the street with their wives.  Police reported that an argument occurred and one of the brothers pulled out gun. 

Witnesses on the scene allegedly identified that Shakur shot first, wounding the officers in the stomach and chest. He was arrested and released on a $55,059 bond until a Dec. 1 hearing. While witnesses said ‘Pac shot first, at the trial witnesses for the prosecution testified that Mark Whitwell fired the first shot.

Shakur maintained that he was shot in self-defense and after further investigation assistant district attorney Charles Hadaway agreed with him. The charges were eventually dropped and the son of Black Panther party rebels was vindicated.

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 (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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