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Pro-police group blindsided when JetBlue airlines honors cop-killing fugitive for Black History Month

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Thanks in part presumably to the mainstream left’s constant promotion of grievance politics, the American airline JetBlue apparently thought it wise to celebrate Black History Month by promoting the life of one of the most wanted fugitive cop-killers in American history.

The airline has since apologized for its stunning error in judgment.

The drama unfolded last week when passengers at JetBlue’s John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal observed a poster dedicated to Assata Shakur, a former Black Liberation Army member convicted in 1977 for the 1973 murder of 34-year-old New Jersey State Police trooper Werner Foerster.

Look at the poster below:

Shakur escaped prison two years after her conviction and fled to Cuba. She’s been on the FBI’S “Most Wanted Terrorists” list since 2013. Besides featuring a photo of Shakur, the poster by JetBlue also contained a list of her alleged accomplishments:

  • “Civil Rights activist and a member of the Black Panther Party.”
  • “Regarded as a hero for her protests against racism and her role win the 1970s Black Liberation Army.”
  • “Community advocate who helped the poor by organizing a free breakfast program and a health clinic.”
  • “Became the first woman to be placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list after escaping to Cuba from prison, where she was serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of a police officer.”
  • “Many people believe Shakur to be a political champion who is innocent of the criminal accusations against her.”

The poster didn’t even include the name of her victim, let alone the names of his wife or of the two children who survived his tragic and unnecessary death 46 years ago.

According to a biography of Foerster by the Officer Down Memorial Page non-profit, he was fatally shot “with his own service weapon after backing up another trooper who had stopped a vehicle containing two men and a woman on New Jersey Turnpike.”

“The subjects started struggling with the troopers and were able to disarm Trooper Foerster. One of the men opened fire, killing Trooper Foerster and wounding the other trooper. Despite the wounds, the other trooper was able to return fire and killed of the subject.”

All three subjects, including Shakur, were convicted and sent to prison, but she escaped in 1979 and fled to Cuba, where she’s remained at large for decades.

When the pro-police “Blue Lives Matter” group first heard of JetBlue’s posters, its members “assumed the offensive display had been created by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and that the airline probably knew nothing about it.”

“JetBlue has stepped up to the plate on several occasions to provide flights for police officers and their families attending funerals for fallen officers, and the NYPD officer said he thought the Chesimard poster seemed completely out of character for the airline,” the group reported.

“However, Blue Lives Matter contacted port authority officials and learned that was not the case.”

JetBlue has since confirmed that it did put the poster up, albeit only at JFK Airport. Due to the loud backlash, it’s removed the poster and issued a formal apology.

“Our crewmembers came together to celebrate Black History Month with a display in Terminal 5 featuring prominent individuals in history. When we learned of concerns regarding one individual, we immediately removed the poster,” the airline said in a statement.

“The intention was always to unite our crewmembers and customers around the importance of Black History Month and we apologize for any offense the poster may have caused.”


Some were content with the apology.

“Actions speak louder than words. What they’ve done for funerals for cops far outweighs an offensive sign. We can’t be little snowflakes each and every time somebody does something along these lines,” an unnamed NYPD officer remarked to “Blue Lives Matter.”

One unnamed New Jersey state trooper was less forgiving, telling the group that the poster was a slap in the face: “Especially inside the secure area, past the TSA checkpoint at JFK. Aren’t we sending mixed messages about safety and security here?” he said.

The responses on social media have been equally mixed:

The latter Twitter user asked a great question. There are numerous black pioneers in aviation JetBlue could have chosen from, including Bessie Coleman, Eugene Jacques Bullard, James Banning, Cornelius Coffey, etc. But instead JetBlue chose a known terrorist. Why?

Because of the left’s grievance politics — that’s why. The far-left, including members of the Democrat Party and the Women’s March, view Shakur as a victim deserving of praise.

The left views MS-13 gang members and criminal aliens in a similar light. At times it seems as if to them, the bad guys at the good guys, and the good guys are the bad guys …


Vivek Saxena


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