Mutulu Shakur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mutulu Shakur
FBI photograph (1982 or earlier)
Jeral Wayne Williams

(1950-08-08)August 8, 1950
DiedJuly 7, 2023(2023-07-07) (aged 72)
Criminal statusDeceased
  • (m. 1975; div. 1982)
  • Makini Hearn
    (m. 1982; div. 2010)
Children6, including Mopreme and Tupac (stepson)
Criminal penalty60 years' imprisonment
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
AddedJuly 23, 1982
CaughtFebruary 12, 1986

Mutulu Shakur (born Jeral Wayne Williams; August 8, 1950 – July 7, 2023) was a New Afrikan activist and a member of the Black Liberation Army who was sentenced to sixty years in prison for his involvement in a 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored truck in which a guard and two police officers were murdered.

Shakur was politically active as a teen with the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and later the black separatist movement the Republic of New Afrika. He was the stepfather of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Shakur was paroled after serving nearly 37 years of imprisonment, and died about eight months later.[1]

Early life and activism[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, who was blind,[2] and younger sister.[3]

By his late teens, Shakur was politically active with the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and later joined the Republic of New Afrika.[4]

In 1970, Shakur began working with the Lincoln Detox program, which offered drug rehabilitation for heroin addiction using acupuncture — instead of the FDA-approved drug methadone. [5] Eventually, he became the program's assistant director and remained associated with the program until 1978. He became certified and licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of California in 1979.[6] He went on to help found and direct the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture.[7]

Brink's robbery, arrest, and incarceration[edit]

Shakur was one of several Black Liberation Army members to carry out the October 1981 robbery of an armored car in Nanuet, New York. Aided by the May 19 Communist Organization and former members of the Weather Underground, the BLA crew stole $1.6 million in cash from a Brink's vehicle at the Nanuet Mall. The robbers killed Brink's guard Peter Paige and seriously wounded another, Joseph Trombino. Soon after, they killed Nyack, New York police officers Edward O'Grady and Waverly Brown, who had stopped a getaway vehicle.[8]

Shakur, the alleged ringleader of the group, evaded capture for more than five years and thus was the last one to go on trial on charges related to the robbery. In 1982, Shakur, Marilyn Buck, and others involved in the BLA and M19CO were indicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges, encompassing the Brink's robbery and other similar robberies, as well as engineering the 1979 escape from a New Jersey prison of Assata Shakur. While at large, on July 23, 1982, he became the 380th person added to the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was arrested on February 12, 1986, in California by the FBI. An order for Shakur's release on pretrial bail was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[9] Shakur and Buck were tried in 1987 and convicted on May 11, 1988.[10] He received a 60-year sentence. The convictions and sentence were upheld on appeal.[11]

Although federal parole was abolished in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Shakur's convictions were exempt because the Act's provisions did not apply to crimes committed before November 1987. Under the rules in effect at the time of his offenses, Shakur was due for a mandatory parole determination after serving thirty of his original sixty-year sentence, which came in 2016.[12] However, the United States Parole Commission denied his release in 2016, 2018, and early 2022.[13] In October 2019, Shakur renewed his quest for a reduction of sentence by applying to the sentencing court for compassionate release under the First Step Act, but relief was once again denied.[14]

On November 10, 2022, the Parole Commission reconsidered his case and granted Shakur release on parole effective December 16, 2022, in light of his declining health.[15] Shakur was freed on that date,[16] and died about eight months later.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 1975, he married Afeni Shakur, the mother of Tupac.[18] They had a daughter, Sekyiwa.[19] They divorced in 1982.

In June 2022, it was revealed that Shakur had terminal bone marrow cancer with "six months to live".[20] He died from the disease on July 7, 2023, at age 72, about eight months after being paroled.[21]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Ellington, Andre (July 7, 2023). "2Pac's Stepfather Mutulu Shakur Reportedly Passes Away". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  2. ^ "Bio –". Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "Mutulu Shakur". Biography. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Adams, Char (July 10, 2023). "Mutulu Shakur, Black liberation activist and stepfather of Tupac, dies at 72". NBC. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  5. ^ Brooklyn benefit for Dr. Mutulu Shakur. Amsterdam News, September 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Acupunture Board. Licensing Detais for: SHAKUR, Mutulu
  7. ^ Bloom, Madison (July 10, 2023). "Mutulu Shakur, Activist, Acupuncturist, and Stepfather to 2Pac, Dies at 72". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  8. ^ Batson, Bill (October 19, 2021). "Nyack Sketch Log: The Brink's Robbery". NyackNewsandViews.
  9. ^ "United States of America, Appellant, v. Mutulu Shakur, Appellee, 817 F.2d 189 (2d Cir. 1987)". Justia Law. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  10. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (May 12, 1988). "2 Ex-fugitives Convicted of Roles in Fatal Armored-Truck Robbery". New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  11. ^ "United States of America v. Shakur, 888 F.2d 234 (2d Cir. 1989) (per curiam)". Justia Law. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  12. ^ "28 CFR 2.53 – Mandatory parole". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  13. ^ Brinks mastermind Mutulu Shakur denied federal parole after 30 years in prison. By Steve Lieberman., May 29, 2018.
  14. ^ United States v. Shakur., November 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Riley, Jason (November 11, 2022). "Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's stepfather, granted release from Kentucky prison as he dies of cancer". Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  16. ^ Lieberman, Steve (December 16, 2022). "Brinks murder mastermind Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's stepfather, released from federal prison". Rockland/Westchester Journal News. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  17. ^ Ellington, Andre (July 7, 2023). "2Pac's Stepfather Mutulu Shakur Reportedly Passes Away". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  18. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Tupac's Family Tree". Capital XTRA. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  19. ^ Balogun, Oyin (December 4, 2019). "Meet Tupac's Half-Sister Sekyiwa Shakur Who Is Now 44 Years Old". AmoMama. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Will a Judge Force Cancer-Stricken Black Elder Mutulu Shakur to Die Behind Bars?". The Intercept. June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  21. ^ "Mutulu Shakur, Black Liberation Movement Elder And Stepfather To Tupac, Dies At 72". NewsOne. Retrieved July 7, 2023.