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Sundiata Acoli
January 14, 1937
BornClark Edward Squire
Decatur, Texas
InstitutionFederal Correctional Institution Otisville
Contact39794-066 (Squire)

P.O. Box 1000 FCI Otisville

Otisville, NY 10963-1000
CitizenshipUnites States
EducationBachelors of Mathematics
Alma materPrairie View A & M College of Texas
OrganizationBlack Liberation Army, Black Panther Party
Criminal chargeMurder of a NJ State Trooper
Criminal penaltyLife

Sundiata Acoli is a New Afrikan political prisoner of war, mathematician, and computer analyst, was born January 14, 1937, in Decatur, Texas, and raised in Vernon, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A & M College of Texas in 1956 with a B.S. in mathematics and for the next 13 years worked for various computer-oriented firms, mostly in the New York area.

Involvement in the Revolution

During the summer of 1964 he did voter registration work in Mississippi. In 1968 he joined the Harlem Black Panther Party and did community work around issues of schools, housing, jobs, child care, drugs, and police brutality. In 1969 he and 13 others were arrested in the Panther 21 conspiracy case. He was held in jail without bail and on trial for two years before being acquitted, along with all other defendants, by a jury deliberating less than two hours. Upon release, FBI intimidation of potential employers shut off all employment possibilities in the computer profession and stepped-up COINTELPRO harassment, surveillance, and provocations soon drove him underground.

NJ Turnpike Incident

In May 1973, while driving the New Jersey Turnpike, he and his comrades were ambushed by N.J. state troopers. One companion, Zayd Shakur, was killed, another companion, Assata Shakur, was wounded and captured. One state trooper was killed and another wounded, and Sundiata was captured days later. After a highly sensationalized and prejudicial trial he was convicted of the death of the state trooper and was sentenced to Trenton State Prison (TSP) for life plus 30 years consecutive.

1992 Parole Hearing

Acoli was up for parole in the fall of 1992, but was not permitted to personally attend his hearing and told to participate via phone from Leavenworth instead. Despite an excellent prison work, academic and disciplinary record; numerous job offers and thousands of letters of support, Sundiata was still denied. Instead, he was hit with another 20 years. Mandating he at least do 12 more years before being eligible for parole again. It's the longest hit in NJ history. He was again denied when he applied in 2004.

The parole board's stated reason for the 20-year hit was Sundiata's membership in the BPP and BLA prior to his arrest, and that rehabilitation was not sufficiently achieved. The real reason for the 20-year hit is to attempt to force Sundiata to renounce his community ties and to proclaim to the world that he was wrong to struggle for the liberation of his people. Spokesman Neal Buccino said the NJ board has not decided when Acoli will be eligible for parole again.