Trump to Cuba: Return NJ cop killer
Trump said for Cuba to "return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard"
MIAMI — President Donald Trump has demanded that Cuba return a woman convicted in the murder of a New Jersey state trooper.
Trump made the demand for the return of Joanne Chesimard while announcing changes to Obama-era Cuba policy in Miami Friday.
Chesimard was convicted in 1977 in the death of Trooper Werner Foerster. He was killed during a gunfight after a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973.
Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison but escaped in November 1979 and eventually traveled to Cuba. Fidel Castro granted her asylum and she has been living under the name Assata Shakur.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie has urged the Trump administration to make Chesimard's return to the United States part of any change in Cuba policy.
Sen. Bob Menendez released a statement applauding Trump's call for Chesimard to be returned to the U.S.
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction to reverse an ill-advised and misguided Cuba policy that has failed to deliver on its promises, left the Cuban people worse off, and allowed American fugitives, like wanted terrorist and cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, to escape justice," Menendez said. "I have continued to press both the Obama and Trump Administrations for the return of Joanne Chesimard, and am pleased that the president today made her return — in clear and absolute terms, as I have insisted — contingent upon any further U.S. engagement in Cuba."