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Maliki Shakur Latine just walked out of prison on parole on December 6, 2016, after 37 years behind the walls!! He is finally reunited with his family, friends, and community!
His transition into minimum security America is just beginning and support does not end with release from prison! Please donate to his release fund to help him cover the costs of basic survival needs and small comforts as he gets his footing.
Thank you for your support and for everything you do for freedom and justice!
“ My arrest and convection were a direct result and retaliation for my Islamic beliefs, political aspirations, and direct association and involvement with the Black Liberation Movement. Nevertheless, I remain firmly and steadfastly committed and dedicated to the struggle for Black Liberation, Independence, and Self-Determination-by any means necessary!”
Maliki Shakur Latine was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1949. In his early years, Latine became involved with the Nation of Islam. It was during this time that he began on the path of confronting society’s oppressive forces.
In 1969, Maliki and his brother, Shaqwan, joined up with the Black Panther Party for Self-defense (BPP). Maliki described this period as a very trying time, but also a rewarding one. The discipline was not as rigid as in the Nation of Islam, but it contained the basic elements of discipline essential to any effective organization. With this experience came additional requirements in organizational discipline.
Maliki began taking political education classes offered by the Black Panther Party. He studied Chairman Mao, Franz Fanon, Lenin, Fidel Castro, Che, and many others. He was also involved in transforming the theoretical ideals of the BPP into daily practice.
Due to the Panthers’ public outreach, which included the Free Breakfast and Lunch programs, free clothing drives and free day care programs, the U.S. government took notice of the Black Panther Party. That such actions were anchored by a revolutionary message caused the US government to view the black radicals as a serious threat.
Latine stated, “It was during this period that the U.S. government’s covert hostilities towards the BPP became very overt and direct. Hence, the U.S. government unleashed its strategy of repression in the form of its infamous “COINTELPRO” (Counter Intelligence Program) in its effort to thwart the party’s community-based programs and organizational effectiveness, while at the same time targeting the party’s leadership by way of manufacturing false and fabricated charges in an attempt to criminalize the party’s membership and the BPP itself.”
Like many of the Panthers targeted by the US government, Maliki found himself behind prison bars, specifically in Riker’s Island. There he met one of the Panther leaders, Lumumba Shakur. Lumumba and 20 other Panthers (known as the Panther 21) were facing trumped up charges, which included a plot to blow up various locations in New York City. All of the Panther 21 would eventually be freed from the charges.
Maliki Latine was soon released from Rikers and returned to the Panthers, only to find that the government’s tactics against the organization forced many of them to go underground. Following their lead, Maliki and his brother decided to follow suit. Maliki then spent two years training and studying and engaging in various actions.
Two years after going underground, Maliki and his brother attended the funeral of Zayd Malik Shakur, who was killed during an altercation with police on the New Jersey turnpike. Maliki continued to participate in the liberation movement for six years before being arrested.
July 3rd Altercation
At 4:45 on July 3rd, 1979 NYPD officers pulled over a Chevrolet Malibu on 148th Street, near 7th, in Harlem. With guns drawn, the two officers approached the car. A gun battle broke out, leaving one of the officers and one of the occupants of the car injured.
The four occupants escaped, but in the car the police found two spent shotgun shells, additional ammunition, a .45 caliber revolver, and a .357 caliber revolver. Down the street they came upon a recently fired twenty-gauge shotgun. The police also claim they found the prints of Jose Saldana and Maliki Latine.
Several hours after the shooting, after the police followed a trail of blood, Arkill Shakur was captured outside a building at 285 West 150th Street, with leg and ankle injuries he incurred in the gunfight. He was taken to the hospital and was later charged for his involvement in the altercation.
Just over 2 weeks after the shooting, on July 18, police and FBI raided the apartment of Dwight (Jamal) Thomas in Astoria, Queens. They arrested him and charged him with the shooting.
A month later, on August 7, 1979, Maliki Latine was arrested in St. Albans, Queens, by a joint force investigating a series of bank expropriations. They charged him with the July 3rd incident. It wouldn’t be until six months later that the police would arrest their final suspect, Jose Saldana.
Sixteen days after the capture of Saldana, Latine and three other prisoners, who were also accused of killing cops, attempted to escape from the special security area of Rikers Island. The men managed to get outside of the prison walls, but three of them, including Latine, were immediately captured. The fourth escapee’s body was discovered days later, dead because of apparent drowning.
Maliki Latine and Jose (Hamza) Saldana were indicted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property. On October 1, 1981, the two were sentenced to 25 to life. Jamal Thomas was initially charged as a co-defendant in the case, but chose to have his case severed. He was later sentenced to life in prison for another altercation while in prison and an additional 15-year sentence for a prison standoff.
In August 1993, the district court overturned Latine’s conviction and ordered a new trial within 120 days or his release. The state appealed, and the second circuit reversed the district court’s decision to overturn the conviction. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear any further appeal and denied him a writ of certiorari, even through his appeal is founded upon the mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court’s own rulings.