New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is not letting this one go. Christie is pressing harder on his call for Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, to be brought from Cuba to the U.S. for killing a New Jersey police officer. He is now going as far as demanding a ban on flights between New Jersey to Havana, Cuba.
In a letter written to the Port Authority chief John Degnan and obtained by the New York Post, Christie expressed his grievances.
“It is unacceptable to me as governor to have any flights between New Jersey and Cuba until and unless convicted cop killer and escaped fugitive Joanne Chesimard is returned to New Jersey to face justice,” Christie wrote. “I will not tolerate rewarding the Cuban government for continuing to harbor a fugitive,” he added.
Since renewed changes in U.S. and Cuba's diplomatic relations last December, New Jersey state authorities have been renewing their campaign to track down and bring Joanne Chesimard — widely known as Assata Shakur — to the states to finish serving her sentence after being convicted of killing State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1977. Christie previously penned a letter to the White House calling for Shakur's prosecution before diplomatic ties were solidified between the U.S. and Cuba.
But Cuba officials stated last year that they have no current intentions of extraditing fugitives once they have been granted political asylum.
Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Party, was granted asylum by President Fidel Castro when she arrived in the country. Shakur escaped Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 with help from other members of the Black Liberation Army.
In 2013, the FBI announced that Shakur was the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists. The reward for her capture was set at $2 million.
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(Photo: FBI/Splash News/Corbis)