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Christie believes Trump administration will bring cop killer to justice

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Gov. Chris Christie believes President Donald Trump will be able to do what President Barack Obama did not: secure the extradition of a notorious escaped convict who has for decades lived freely in Cuba.

“I think this is one of things the president will focus on,” Christie said Monday during New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask the Governor.”

Christie was asked about Joanne Chesimard days after he renewed his call to have the black nationalist returned from the communist nation.

Chesimard, who now goes by Assata Shakur, escaped from the women’s prison in Hunterdon County in 1979. She was serving a life sentence for her role in the shooting death of State Trooper Werner Foerster on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick in 1973.

Christie said Monday that he and Trump, whom he considered a close friend, have spoken about the case, and said that Trump remembers following the case in the 1970s.

Under Obama, the United States and Cuba thawed the two countries’ chilly relations from the Cold War-era, but Christie and law enforcement groups in New Jersey were outraged that the return of Chesimard and other fugitives was not a condition of the negotiations.

The State Police in January blasted Obama for his administration’s failure in this regard.

“By burning the last bridge to this Administration’s opportunity to gain their negotiated return, families who have long suffered the consequences of their terrorist acts and law enforcement everywhere in this country have been shown the back of the hand. An ignominious torch has been passed to the next president,” State Police Col. Rick Fuentes said in January.

State Police have a $2 million reward for Chesimard’s capture. Christie on Monday joked that he should receive the award once Chesimard is returned to New Jersey.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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