At a news conference on Wednesday, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams and Keechant Sewell, the woman he has selected to serve as police commissioner, appeared in front of a mural that included depictions of several figures, including Assata Shakur, according to Newsday.
The FBI says that Assata Shakur is one of multiple aliases for Joanne Deborah Chesimard, who was convicted of murder, but escaped from prison.
Eric Adamsu2019 new NYPD commissioner is being appointed in front of a mural featuring Malcolm X, Nat Turner, Angela Davis, Huey Newton and Assata Shakur.pic.twitter.com/TshnCS3U31
— Matthew Chayes (@Matthew Chayes) 1639576898
According to the FBI, Chesimard and two other individuals were stopped by authorities for a motor vehicle violation in 1973, but they shot at the officers.
“At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail,” the FBI notes.
“In 1977, Chesimard was found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and lived underground before being located in Cuba in 1984. She is thought to currently still be living in Cuba,” according to the FBI.
The news conference was located at Queensbridge Houses. Sewell lived there for several years during her childhood, according to the New York Daily News.
Sewell will make history as the first woman to serve as NYPD commissioner.