NEWARK — The decades-old international case of a convicted cop killer is getting new attention in New Jersey on the 40th anniversary.
The FBI announced an additional $1 million reward, making the total $2 million, for any information leading to Joanne Chesimard, 65, also known as Assata Shakur.
Chesimard was serving a life term for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 when escaped from New Jersey prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. She has lived there under the name Assata Shakur.
The U.S. Justice Department had previously offered a $1 million reward for her capture. The additional $1 million will be funded by the state's forfeiture funds.
Chesimard was a member of the Black Panther Party, and later the Black Liberation Army- one of the most violent militant organizations of the 1970s, according to a statement today from state police. The organization claimed responsibility for murdering several officers in the U.S. at the time.
She has been living in Cuba since mid 1984, where she attends government functions and her standard of living is higher than most Cubans, police said.
Chilly relations between the countries have made Cuba a haven for fugitives, but the climate is changing. Just last month, a Florida couple who sailed to Cuba was returned to the U.S. and accused of kidnapping their two young children from the boys' grandparents.
"Justice has no expiration date and our resolve to capture Joanne Chesimard does not diminish with the passage of time," said Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.
Information can be sent to the FBI via a tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or online at https://tips.fbi.gov. Information can also be provided to the nearest FBI field office, American Embassy or Consulate.
Staff writer Anjalee Khemlani contributed to this report.