The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has worked as a federal informant, tried to set up a meeting with black fugitive radical JoAnne Chesimard in 1983, according to activists who said they were approached by Sharpton.
The black activists said they feared Sharpton was trying to deliver Chesimard into the arms of federal agents, but said they had no proof.
One law-enforcement source, who declined to be identified but has detailed knowledge of Sharpton’s activities as an FBI informant, said this week that Sharpton was working as an informant at the time he sought to meet Chesimard. The source said that one of Sharpton’s assignments was to try to lead agents to Chesimard, who escaped from prison in 1979 after being convicted in the killing a New Jersey state trooper.
“It wasn’t a big massive operation. It was just a small shot, an everyday deal,” the source said. “I would equate it with setting up 10 traps a day trying to catch a fox . . .” He said Sharpton was not a major participant in the search for the woman, who goes by the African name Assata Shakur.
A top FBI official said that Sharpton was not used in any manner to lure Shakur into a trap. “This is the first I’m hearing of it, it’s bull———,” FBI Assistant Deputy Director Kenneth Walton, who led the Shakur investigation, said earlier this week.
Sharpton flatly denied trying to make contact with Shakur.
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