The stepfather of the late rapper Tupac Shakur has been released from prison after nearly four decades behind bars.
Mutulu Shakur was granted parole on November 10th following an October 12th hearing. The U.S. Parole Commission ruled that due to Mutulu’s deteriorating health, he no longer posed a threat to society. The 72-year-old suffers from stage 3 multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that affects bone marrow.
Mutulu was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison, having been accused of masterminding the deadly 1981 robbery of an armored Brinks truck in Nanuet, New York. As a member of “The Family,” comprised of Black Liberation Army and Weather Underground constituents, Mutulu allegedly led several others to rob the armored truck of $1.6 million in cash. During the heist, Brinks security guard Peter Paige was killed, and his partner, Joseph Trombino, was severely wounded. When the robbers approached a roadblock on the New York State Thruway, they shot two officers in their way, Nyack Police Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown. Mutulu remained on the run for six years and landed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list before being arrested on February 12th, 1986.
Under the terms of his release, Mutulu must not have any contact with his sister Joanne Chesimard, most popularly known as Assata Shakur. She has been living in Cuba since she escaped from jail with the help of her brother and other Black Liberation Army members in 1979 after being convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. She has remained in Cuba under the protection of the Castro regime since 1984.
Ed Day, a Rockland County Executive and former NYPD commander, slammed the compassionate release, calling it “horribly insulting to the families.”
“How can a compassionate release be granted for someone who played a role in callously killing three people?” he stated after news broke of the release.
However, Mutulu’s supporters are celebrating his prison and revealed that he is now with his family.
Mutulu was married to Afeni Shakur, the mother of the late Tupac, in the 1970s and 1980s.