My name is Shaka Adiyia Shakur and I am a conscious/woke New Afrikan Political Prisoner and Prison Activist.
I am 54 yrs old and embarking upon my 19th yr of a 63 yr sentence for the Attempted Murder of a Gary, Indiana Cop, which is a Wrongful Conviction. I am seeking donations so I can retain an attorney capable of litigating my release. My case is more than compelling– with a competent attorney, I will get out of here and see some daylight sooner than later.
To understand this wrongful conviction, it is important to go back to when I was 16 and caught a case for an attempted robbery in which I was involved as a misguided teenager. Though this was not technically a wrongful conviction, the system tried me as an adult and I ended up spending the next 15 years in some of the worst prisons in the US, enduring more than 10 years in solitary confinement at the Maximum Control Complex (M.C.C.) in Westville, IN under conditions of isolation, sensory deprivation, and physical torture. There, as a young man in my 20s, I helped organize one of the longest prisoner hunger strikes in US history. During these formative years in prison, I transformed my mindset from a criminal “gang” mindset to one of a revolutionary activist committed to the liberation of New Afrikan and all oppressed peoples.
In August of 2001 after having just been released, my teenage son and only child was murdered 30 minutes after calling me to come pick him up and the day before my birthday. The first soul day in 18 yrs that I would have ever had on the streets with him.
Seeing his body splattered across the hot summer asphalt from two shotgun blasts to the back would trigger an avalanche of emotions and events….How do you tell a two month old granddaughter that her father has just been murdered?
Prior to this event and at the time of his murder and only having been home for 10 months, I was attending Purdue Univ full time while working in the Upward Bound Trio program at Purdue Univ. Calumet. I was also doing a lecture and workshop tour to various colleges and schools on the topic of Supermax Torture, Human Rights Violations in U.S. Prisons, and more. I have spoken at Princeton Univ, Temple, Beloit, Univ. of Madison and many others. Also I was becoming active in some community organizing efforts.
After my son’s murder and having to get into the streets to flush his killer(s) to the surface, I begun to self medicate, and my mental health deteriorated. All of those earlier years, going back to M.C.C., of being chained to beds and poles in stress positions, left in trip gear chained to other prisoners. The fire hosings, the tear gassing and wars all kicked in with a vengeance. I became reckless and self destructive, not really caring if I lived or died. In fact I fell into a deep depression and the PTSD Symptoms I had been experiencing began to intensify.
Due to my investigating my own son’s murder and having a history, along with my partner, of challenging and exposing the GPD targeting of and brutalizing Black Youth, I begun to be consistently targeted by the local police dept. Constantly pulled over, searched, checked for warrants, etc. Approx five months after my son’s murder, I would be accused of Attempted Murder of a Gary, In. Cop during a bogus traffic stop where a police cruiser took incoming rounds while the cop stood beside the open car door. This cop would dive into the car while it was taking fire and later claim that someone or I tried to murder him. The forensic evidence and physical evidence doesn’t support the narrative or allegation of Attempted Murder and yet I was still wrongfully convicted and given a 63 yr. Sentence.
Since then, I have been consistently subjected to pervasive threats by white supremacist guards and a systemic campaign of repression, culminating in my “domestic exile” to the Virginia Department of Corrections (D.O.C.) as part of an “inter-state compact agreement” with the Indiana D.O.C.. I have been denied healthcare, stripped of personal property, bounced from prison to prison, threatened physically, and slandered by prison officials in ways that jeopardize my life. Despite this campaign, I remain unbowed. I continue to speak out against injustice and to organize politically and legally for true power to the people. For more information on my saga in the prison system over the past 20 years, click here.
Of course, I want to get out of here so that I can at least experience some of the wonderful things of life that have been denied to me all of these decades in prison. But beyond my own personal needs, I remain as committed as ever to the liberation of New Afrikan and all oppressed peoples in this society and world. Following my release, I pledge to work towards this greater good, to not go “gently into that good night.”
Write to Shaka
Shaka Shakur #1996207
Beaumont Correctional Center
3500 Beaumont Road
Beaumont, VA 23014