[Criminal Justice\Dr. Matulu Shakur]
Dr. Mutulu Shakur was just diagnosed with bone marrow cancer & needs money for lawyers to file a compassionate release petition. He meets the conditions for compassionate release under federal law. He is a recognized advocate for human and civil rights who poses no danger of committing any crimes against anyone.
Political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur–who has been unjustly imprisoned for 33 years–was just diagnosed with bone marrow cancer & needs money for lawyers to file a compassionate release petition.
On Saturday, January 4th, a benefit for Dr. Shakur will be held at the Starr Bar 214 Starr Street, Brooklyn, New York. This event will run from 7 PM – 9:30 PM.
If you cannot make the show, the organizers are asking that you donate via paypal at Dr. Shakur’s website (go to www.mutulushakur.com and click on the red and white DONATE button in the right sidebar if this direct link doesn’t work).
Dr. Shakur received a diagnosis of life-threatening bone marrow cancer in October, 2019. Until now, he has requested that this information be kept private. For over a year he had experienced pain in his bones, but he was not even x-rayed until April 2019. Although the prison doctor probably suspected cancer and called for a CT scan, the scan was delayed for four months.
After a year of delay, we know now that Mutulu is suffering from extensive painful bone lesions, caused by a rapidly growing bone marrow cancer. He is 69 years old, and aging in prison after 33 years of incarceration. In 2014, he suffered from a stroke, which required several months for recovery. He has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and vision problems from glaucoma.
We fear for Dr. Shakur’s survival and his life.
His legal team has filed a compassionate release petition, because now Dr. Shakur’s very survival depends on his release. He meets the conditions for compassionate release under federal law. He is a recognized advocate for human and civil rights who poses no danger of committing any crimes against anyone. As evidenced by widespread support for his parole, he will be welcomed back into a community that will also provide for his financial and medical support.
However, on December 5th he was denied compassionate release by the Central office of the BOP. He is currently receiving chemotherapy, but the BOP has not told him or his lawyer the exact type of treatment he is getting. He has been able to talk with his newest lawyer Mark Kleiman and may receive a family visit from his son. Most importantly, Mutulu says that he is managing the treatment and his spirit is strong.
Dr. Shakur has been incarcerated because of his alleged involvement in the October 20, 1981 robbery of a Brink armored car at the Nanuet Mall, in Nanuet, New York, by six Black Liberation Army members. Two police officers (Edward O’Grady and Waverly Brown) were killed during the robbery. Dr. Shakur, accused of being the ringleader of the group, was arrested in February, 1986, and was convicted in May, 1988. He has been incarcerated ever since. He was denied parole in 2016 and 2018–and again, recently on December 5th. Dr. Shakur was the stepfather of legendary rap superstar Tupac Shakur.
Ever since Matulu Shakur was 16 (in a similar way to other political prisoners, like Mumia Abu-Jamal, for example) he was monitored by the police and other law enforcement agencies, like the FBI thru their COINTELPRO Program, as a charismatic dedicated young Black leader fighting against the state institutionalized racism that has always oppressed Black America. This meant he would join the list of those who were to be targeted for “neutralization,” by the various dirty tricks methods that state law enforcement has always used against Black people.
In January, Black Americans will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King for his stance in fighting for Black empowerment and freedom. And, in February, we will be observing Black History Month and honoring the many important figures who fought for Black freedom. Dr. Shakur is such a figure.
His continued imprisonment is one example illustrating the unfinished business Black America has with achieving true freedom from state institutional oppression in America. 2020 is a Presidential election year and there has been some talk about “criminal justice reform,” but not nearly enough change accomplished. In the limited lip-service we hear about criminal justice reform very little is being said about racist police brutality and murder–a deadly issue our leaders always were forced to face for their activism and speaking truth to power.
The recent rejection of parole for Dr. Matulu Shakur, who will soon be 70-years-old, especially at this time given his health challenges, says much about the cruel, callous–and deeply racist–nature of so-called American justice.