Mutulu Shakur, Tupac’s stepfather, to be released from prison due to cancer prognosis
Now 72, Mutulu has reportedly been given less than six months to live by federal doctors.
Mutulu Shakur, stepfather of hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur, will be freed from prison on medical parole on Dec. 16 to spend his final days with family and loved ones after serving 35 years of a 60-year sentence.
Mutulu, a racial justice activist with the Black Liberation Army of the 1970s, was first arrested in 1986 on charges including conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, bank robbery, armed bank robbery and bank robbery murder, according to NBC News.
Now 72, Mutulu has been given less than six months to live by federal doctors due to the multiple health ailments he has battled while incarcerated, including stage-3 cancer, his attorney Brad Thomson told the outlet.
Jomo Muhammad of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a supporter of Mutulu’s who has championed his release, told NBC News the U.S. Parole Commission’s decision to release Mutulu was “a long time overdue.” The October parole decision was made public on Thursday.
“There are a lot of tears of joy,” Muhammad said. “There’s still disbelief because we were steadying ourselves for another denial. Now folks are excited about being able to reunite Mutulu with his family. We were crying together.”
Supporters of Mutulu, who in 1988 was convicted of helming a series of armed robberies throughout New York and Connecticut, believe he was targeted by government agencies who sought to stop his racial activism efforts. Mutulu’s additional convictions included helping Assata Shakur (born JoAnne Chesimard) escape from prison in 1979, as reported by NBC.
Per the outlet, Muhammad and other supporters of Mutulu say he was arrested in 1986 amidst an independent probe into COINTELPRO, an FBI campaign against Black activist groups they suspected of committing crimes.
After numerous denials of Mutulu’s previous appeals for release, Commission officials in October ruled him “so infirm of mind and body” due to his multiple myeloma diagnosis that he is “no longer physically capable of committing any Federal, State, or local crime,” NBC reported.
Muhammad said that although Mutulu’s worsening health condition continues to worry his friends and family as the December release date approaches, the prospect of him reuniting with loved ones after over three decades brings optimism.
“He was not exonerated. He was given medical parole, which means he could still be snatched back from us,” Muhammad told the outlet. “His release doesn’t end his cancer.”
“It’s been astounding and beautiful to meet folks who knew Mutulu before his incarceration who continued to fight for him,” he added. “It’ll be so beautiful when we see pictures of him reunited with his family.”
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