Records from the Bureau of Prisons confirm Tupac Shakur’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur is now a free man after spending almost 37 years in prison, per PEOPLE. In November, Face2Face Africa reported that the formerly convicted freedom fighter was set to be released on parole in December.
Shakur, who has been diagnosed with life-threatening bone cancer while suffering other health problems, has been denied release several times over the years. In October, however, the U.S. Parole Commission OK’d his parole reapplication to enable him to spend the rest of his days with his family.
Commission officials told Shakur, “We now find your medical condition renders you so infirm of mind and body that you are no longer physically capable of committing any Federal, State, or local crime,” NBC News reported.
Prior to his release, Shakur, 72, was being held at a Lexington-based federal medical facility as a result of his health problems. Shakur’s family asked for “privacy” in a statement after his release.
“Mutulu is now with his family. This victory was secured by the steadfast support of his legal team, his family and his community comprised of all of you. … We ask that everyone respect Dr. Shakur’s privacy while he spends the holidays with his family and concentrates on his health and healing,” the statement read.
Shakur made headlines in 2018 after lamenting that the U.S. government was illegally keeping him behind bars. Shakur, who has been behind bars for “masterminding” a series of robberies, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in March 2018, claiming his Constitutional First Amendment rights were being used against him to prevent his release.
Shakur was sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1988 after being convicted of leading a revolutionary group known as “The Family” which robbed a Brinks truck of almost $2 million and killed three security guards from the company.
He was also convicted of aiding and abetting the escape of Tupac’s aunt and activist Assata Shakur from a New Jersey State Prison after she was sentenced to life for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973. Assata is currently in political asylum in Cuba and she has been there for over three decades.
In 2021, the families of the three men who were killed organized a memorial to mark the 40th anniversary of the fatal encounter, The Journal News reported.
“The pain and emotion never go away,” Michael Paige, the son of one of the deceased men, said at the event. “Oct. 20 is the hardest day of the year for my family. Coming here lets us know we’re not alone and the three men’s sacrifices were not in vain.”
Per the conditions of his parole, Shakur is barred from having contact with the relatives of the men who were killed in the robberies, PEOPLE reported. He also cannot have contact with Assata Shakur.