New York Daily News

May 25, 2005

Pol wants amnesty for exiled cop killer

By Frank Lombardi

Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron wants the City Council to back clemency for fugitive cop killer Joanne Chesimard - a move that triggered fury among police.

Chesimard was serving a life sentence for the 1973 execution-style murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster when several armed visitors helped her break out of prison in 1979. She now lives in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur.

Barron, a Democrat, said yesterday that he will introduce a resolution calling on President Bush to grant Shakur amnesty so she can return from "exile."

"She's innocent," insisted Barron, noting that he met Chesimard in his late teens while he, too, was a Black Panther. "She was a victim, not a perpetrator. She was convicted on trumped-up charges in a kangaroo court."

Chesimard was put on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists on May 1, and the U.S. Justice Department authorized a $1 million reward if she's captured alive.

"This is outrageous, even by Councilman Barron's standards," fumed Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "Joanne Chesimard is a cold-blooded killer who viciously took the life of a state trooper.