A New Jersey trooper was fired by the State Police after he shared a t-shirt with an image of Joanne Chesimard, better known as Assata Shakur, on Instagram.
Originally posted on September 2016, the social media post was a picture of a t-shirt made by Nyron Harris‘ cousin depicting black-and-white portraits of women such as Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and Shakur. Shakur, who escaped from prison after she was convicted in the 1973 killing of State Trooper Werner Foerster, is still listed as one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.
Although Harris claims he was helping promote his cousin’s clothing company and that he had no idea Shakur was in the photo, he was still fired by superiors who “drummed up minor infractions to justify turning him away,” according to a report from NJ.com.
Harris has filed a lawsuit against the State Police, claiming the firing violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination because white troopers were allowed to stay on the force even though they were accused of far worse behavior.
Harris’ post resulted in an internal investigation, with The Outfit, a private Facebook group run by retired troopers, calling for Harris’ firing. Still, the official reason for Harris’ firing is unclear, though the lawsuit claims Harris “was notified that he would not be reenlisted for having posted” the picture of the shirt.