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Guest Analysis: What’s Behind the Attacks on African-American Activist Assata Shakur?


By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Shakur was arrested on May 2, 1973 after being stopped by the state police while riding in a car traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike. She was seriously wounded in the routine traffic stop where Zayd Malik Shakur was killed and Sundiata Acoli (formerly known as Clark Squire) was also captured. Acoli remains in prison until this day some forty years later.

During the traffic stop New Jersey state trooper Werner Forester was killed. Shakur was charged with numerous crimes during a series of trials between 1973-77. However, she was acquitted of all these charges and was finally falsely accused and convicted in the death of the law-enforcement officer.


At the time of the arrest of Assata Shakur and Sundiata Acoli and the murder of Zayd Malik Shakur, the Black Liberation Army had been vilified for years in the corporate media. Many law-enforcement agencies throughout the country were on high-alert for the capturing or killing of members and associates of this organization.
Assata was held for six-and-a-half years in maximum security prisons in New Jersey. She wrote in her political biography entitled “Assata: An Autobiography,” released in 1987 by Zed books, that she was detained in all-male correctional facilities and subjected to torture by prison guards and other law-enforcement officials.
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