On May 2, 1973, New Jersey State Troopers James Harper and Werner Foerster pulled over a car on the New Jersey Turnpike. As the troopers questioned its three occupants, the driver and the female passenger, Joanne Chesimard, pulled semi-auto handguns and opened fire.
Foerster was struck twice in the chest, and Harper was wounded in the shoulder. Chesimard took Trooper Forester’s weapon as he lay severely wounded and shot him twice in the head execution style. Trooper Foerster died, and Trooper Harper survived.
Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panthers, who were responsible for the assassinations of many police officers and other violent crimes such as bank robbery and murder.
All three in the vehicle were apprehended shortly thereafter, and in 1977 Chesimard was convicted and sentenced to life plus 33 years.
On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from the Endna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. During visitation, her visitors took guards as hostages and escaped. An intense manhunt went on for years until 1986. We had found out that she had escaped to Cuba and was granted political asylum, where she still resides free and happy.
I remember in 1979, when I was a police officer in Irvington, New Jersey. I was constantly on the watch for her and utilized all my contacts to try to track her down to no avail, as did every other police officer within the United States. I remember several raids conducted by police during that time, and the outcome was always that they had just missed her. This manhunt was on the minds of every cop, especially those in New Jersey, where we lost one of our own to this terrorist.
In 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting Fidel Castro return Chesimard to the U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California and cop hater, wrote a letter to Castro saying she was unaware that Chesimard and Assata Shakur were the same person. That letter further stated she would have voted against the resolution, and that she believed that Chesimard was "persecuted as a result of her political beliefs and affiliations."
Judicial Watch reported that Waters visited Chesimard on her trips to Cuba. Waters did not care that Trooper Foerster was murdered by Chesimard and two others; she was just concerned with making nice with Castro, a murderer himself. Therefore, the War on the Police begins and Maxine Waters draws first blood.
We have known Chesimard’s location since 1986 and there has been no real attempt to bring this terrorist back to the United States to pay for her crimes. My solution would be to send in a Seal Team to extract her and return her to the U.S. What would Cuba be able to do anyway when they found out? Not much!
President Obama, who has now normalized relations with Cuba, and has not demanded the return of Chesimard and William Morales (who took part in the 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern in New York City) as part of the deal — and Hillary Clinton defended his position. This proves the love for cop killers and terrorists by progressive Democrats.
In the last eight years, President Obama has tracked down and ordered executions of Islamic terrorists worldwide, but did nothing about terrorist Chesimard, who murdered Americans on our own soil.
American law enforcement now will have confidence that President-elect Donald Trump will demand the return of Chesimard and Morales as a condition of normalizing relations.
As soon as Trump is sworn in I suggest that he threatens to stop all flights to Cuba and informs the Cuban government that both are returned to the United States immediately, and that American law enforcement, including New Jersey State Troopers, be allowed to come into Cuba to personally escort these terrorists back. Trump should also inform Cuba that if Chesimard and Morales somehow mysteriously escape from Cuba before this, he will make the government personally responsible and relations will no longer exist.
Our country has to take a stand against countries that harbor those who have committed crimes against this nation. This will show that President-elect Trump isn’t a push over like President Obama, and that when Trump says not to cross a red line, he means it.
Some might say (mostly progressive Democrats) that normalizing relations with Cuba is more important than two wanted terrorist fugitives. They don’t realize an attack on law enforcement is an attack on all law-abiding citizens of this country, and that the Thin Blue Line is the only thing separating this country from being overrun by the Chesimards of this world.
Harry Houck is a CNN law enforcement analyst, retired NYPD Detective First Grade, and USMC veteran. Follow him on Twitter, @HarryJHouck, or Facebook. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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