Note: The Indianapolis Liberation Center, which includes Free Shaka Shakur, asks all of our supporters to sign and share this petition requesting that the Governor of Indiana grant Shaka Shakur clemency on several justifiable grounds. If you want to read more about this New Afrikan political prisoner from Indiana (who is currently in domestic exile in the Virginia Department of Corrections), read this autobiographical note.
The petition: Free Shaka Shakur!
To: Eric J. Holcomb, Governor of the State of Indiana
Gwendolyn M. Horth, Chair of the Indiana Parole Board
Members of the Indiana Parole Board
We, the undersigned, urge you to support the release from prison of Shaka Shakur who has now been incarcerated for more than twenty-one years since 2002 for a crime in which nobody was seriously injured, nor anything stolen. Shaka was convicted of the attempted murder of a police officer, but there was, in reality, no attempted murder. In a fit of suicidal rage after his son’s murder, Shaka fired some shots at a police vehicle, but without intent to hit the officer. The officer returned fire and ran out of bullets. Though Shaka still had a magazine with more rounds and could have easily killed the officer at that point, Shaka instead got into his vehicle and drove away. The police officer has since expressed that he is not opposed to Shaka receiving some form of post-conviction relief.
Regardless, Shaka has already served the full time of this attempted murder sentence and would be out today if not for a “habitual offender” enhancement that could no longer be applied today given changes in the law since Shaka’s original conviction. Shaka has no criminal record of seriously harming anyone at any point when he was in the larger community,
There are two more overwhelming reasons to support Shaka’s release from prison:
1: Shaka Should Be Released Based on Compassionate, Medical Grounds:
Shaka is now a great grandfather whose family counts upon him for support and guidance. In the meantime, he is dealing with major health issues. Since his incarceration, he has been diagnosed with Spondylitis, a degenerative disc disease which is a deterioration of the vertebrae and disc within the neck and spinal column. He also has neurological issues, producing limb and body tremors. In 2009, he was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease that was left untreated by the prison authorities. Now, in 2023, after repeatedly complaining about pain in his kidney area, it was discovered that he had a cancerous tumor growing on his right kidney. The tumor was removed in March, 2023, but the pathology report indicates the cancer may have metastasized. He has yet to receive follow-up care, more than 3 months after his surgery.
2: Shaka Should Be Released Based on His Tremendous Record of Human Rights Advocacy and Community Service Spanning Decades Now:
Shaka has been a tireless advocate for the human rights of prisoners in particular and all people in general. He has organized prisoner study groups, assisted countless prisoners as a paralegal, founded a US-wide-prisoner newsletter, and established strong linkages with outside human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, among many other related activities. Shaka has founded a re-entry program for released prisoners, even while he remains trapped on the other side. He is currently working in the law library and enrolled in college classes. Moreover, before his incarceration in 2002, he was doing tremendous youth organizing in Gary, Indiana, reaching at-risk youth and getting them excited to participate in educational programs. He was recognized by the former Mayor of Gary for his incredible work here.
During his incarceration, Shaka has been subjected to multiple, racist assaults by guards and punished for his activism. For example, in 2006 while he was back in the Lake County Jail for an evidentiary hearing, Shaka was subjected to a vicious assault by a rogue group of guards operating in the jail, many of whom were a part of the Special Operations Response Unit (SORT) that was brutalizing mostly young Black prisoners. Despite the fact that Shaka had only attempted to defend himself, he was charged and convicted of battery. After Shaka’s conviction, eight of these guards in the SORT were later arrested and charged for their brutality. Five of these eight were involved in the assault on Shaka.
Shaka Shakur is a tremendous human being who has suffered tremendously while being incarcerated. It is past time for him to be out. He has so much to offer the community.
Free Shaka Adiyia Shakur!