Mutulu Shakur

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Mutulu Shakur
Mutulu Shakur.jpg
Born Jeral Wayne Williams
(1950-08-08) August 8, 1950 (age 66)
Baltimore, Maryland
Residence USP Victorville, CA
Criminal penalty 720 months (60 years) of federal incarceration (with the possibility of parole)
Criminal status Incarcerated
Conviction(s) Violation of the federal RICO Act, participation in a racketeering enterprise, two counts of bank robbery, two counts of armed bank robbery and two counts of murder during the commission of a robbery
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
Status
Added July 23, 1982
Caught February 12, 1986
Number 380
Captured

Mutulu Shakur (born Jeral Wayne Williams; August 8, 1950) is an American black nationalist and acupuncturist. He was a proponent of the Republic of New Afrika and a close friend of Geronimo Pratt.

Shakur is best known for his conviction on racketeering charges following the 1979 prison escape of Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur) and the infamous $1.6 million robbery of a Brinks armored truck in New York in which a guard and two police officers were killed. It was later found that an illegal project by the FBI, COINTELPRO, aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and neutralizing what they considered domestic political organizations, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had targeted Mutulu as well as many of his comrades. He is currently incarcerated in the United States Penitentiary, Victorville for conspiracy to aid bank expropriation, not the actual robbery. He was stepfather to the late rap artist Tupac Shakur.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Shakur was born in Baltimore, Maryland on August 8, 1950, as Jeral Wayne Williams. At age seven he moved to Jamaica, Queens, New York City with his mother and younger sister. By his late teens, he was politically active with the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and later joined the Republic of New Afrika. He has four biological children and one surviving stepchild.

Career[edit]

In 1970, Shakur started working with the Lincoln Detox (detoxification) Community (addiction treatment) Program, which offered drug treatment to addicts using acupuncture vs the FDA approved drug methadone. Shakur became certified and licensed to practice acupuncture in the State of California in 1976. Eventually he became the program’s assistant director and remained associated with the program until 1978. He went on to help found and direct the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture.

Since incarcerated, Shakur founded a New York-based organization named Dare 2 Struggle that released a 10-year anniversary tribute album for Tupac Shakur called A 2Pac Tribute: Dare 2 Struggle in 2006 through music industry veteran Morey Alexander's First Kut Records and Canadian activist Deejay Ra's Lyrical Knockout Entertainment. The album features artists such as Mopreme Shakur, Outlawz, and Imaan Faith. As Shakur explains it, the CD was created in order to motivate, inspire, and challenge black people to struggle against their obstacles. He also recorded a radio PSA for Deejay Ra's "Hip-Hop Literacy" campaign, encouraging reading of books about Tupac. Shakur was interviewed in the Oscar-nominated documentary Tupac: Resurrection, in which he described how he wrote a "Thug Life Handbook" with Tupac, expressing an anti-drug and anti-violence message.

Arrest and Incarceration[edit]

Shakur was one of six Black Liberation Army members to carry out the Brink's robbery (1981). They stole $1.6 million in cash from a Brink's armored car at the Nanuet Mall, in Nanuet, New York, killing a Brink's guard, Peter Paige, seriously wounding Brinks guard Joseph Trombino, and subsequently killing two Nyack police officers, Edward O'Grady and Waverly Brown (the first African American member of the Nyack, New York police department).[2] Trombino recovered from the wounds he received in this incident but was killed in 2001 in the September 11 attacks.[3]

Shakur, the alleged ringleader of the group, evaded capture for six years and thus was the last one to go on trial on charges related to the robbery. In the 1980s, Shakur and Marilyn Buck were indicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. While at large, on July 23, 1982 he became the 380th person added by the FBI to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was arrested February 12, 1986 in California by the FBI. Shakur and Buck were tried in 1987 and convicted on May 11, 1988.[4]

Although federal parole was abolished pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Shakur's convictions were exempt because the Act's provisions didn't take effect until 1987. Thus, under the rules in effect at the time of his conviction, he was due for a mandatory parole determination after serving thirty of his original sixty year sentence, which came in 2016.[5] However, the United States Parole Commission, denied his release for unspecified grounds on April 7, 2016. Shakur's next parole eligibility review will occur in 2018.,[6] and according to the Bureau of Prison, his sentence will be completed December 15, 2024.

Media Attention[edit]

While in ADX Florence, novelist Jonathan Franzen visited and brielfly talked with Shakur for a 1995 essay on American prisons.[citation needed] Shakur told Franzen that "that he ended up in maximum security, first at Marion and now at ADX, because the warden at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was first confined, felt he had too much influence on young black men and too much outside contact." (Franzen was mistaken about several details of the case, stating that the robbery took place in 1984 and the only conviction was for racketeering. This essay, "Control Units," was later included in Franzen's 2002 book How to Be Alone.

Shakur is also featured on Season 3, Episode 10 of the television show 'American Gangster' featured on Centric and BET in 2008. Shakur was also interviewed on-camera while in ADX Florence by documentary filmmaker Lee Lew-Lee. The interview footage can be seen in Lee's film All Power to the People.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Federal Bureau of Prisons". Bop.gov. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  2. ^ Batson, Bill. "Nyack Sketch Log: The Brink's Robbery". NyackNewsandViews. 
  3. ^ "Joseph Trombino: Close Calls Never Counted". New York Times. September 17, 2001. 
  4. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (May 12, 1988). "2 Ex-fugitives Convicted of Roles in Fatal Armored-Truck Robbery". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  5. ^ "28 CFR 2.53 - Mandatory parole.". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  6. ^ "Tupac Shakur's stepfather Mutulu Shakur denied parole". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 

External links[edit]