2Pac’s Stepfather Denied Parole After Serving 30 Years
Mutulu Shakur, the stepfather of slain rapper 2Pac has been denied parole. He was sentenced to federal prison for leading a revolutionary group responsible for the murder of an armed guard and two New York police officers, according to Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.
65-year old Shakur was arrested in 1986 for being the mastermind behind a string of deadly armed robberies in New York and Connecticut committed by a militant political group known as “The Family.” Among those robberies was a $1.6 million holdup of an armored truck at a mall in Rockland County, New York, on Oct. 20, 1981. Peter Paige, a Brinks security guard, was killed during the heist. Less than an hour later, two Nyack police officers, Waverly Brown and Sgt. Edward O’Grady, were killed in an ambush after stopping the truck at a roadside checkpoint.
Shakur was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and he remained on the run until he was arrested in Los Angeles.
Shakur was also charged with helping a fellow revolutionary, Joanne Chesimard, escape from a New Jersey prison, where she was serving a sentence for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. An accomplice to the escape testified at Shakur’s trial that armed members of his revolutionary group visited the prison, captured two guards and then drove Chesimard out in a prison van. He said Shakur was protecting the escape route.
Chesimard, who now goes by the name Assata Shakur, fled to Cuba where she still remains at large. She was granted asylum by Fidel Castro, but some U.S. officials have pushed for her to be extradited to the U.S. after the two countries re-established diplomatic relations.
After serving 30 years of his 60-year sentence, Mutulu Shakur appeared for his parole hearing on April 7, at the federal penitentiary in Victorville, California. For the first time, Shakur had been eligible for what’s considered to be mandatory parole, but his release was denied by the U.S. Parole Commission, said Carr. Federal officials declined to comment and reveal why Shakur’s parole was denied, saying the information is not for public release.
Although federal parole was abolished in 1987, it is still retroactively granted for inmates convicted before then. Under the rules in place at the time of his conviction, parole is considered mandatory unless the commission finds a prisoner is likely to reoffend, or has frequently violated prison rules.
During his time in prison, Shakur amassed a large group of supporters, including many who believe he is a political prisoner. He also organized letter-writing and phone campaigns to demand his release, who also solicit donations for his legal fund.
According to Carr, Shakur will be eligible for parole again in two years.