Chokwe Lumumba, the recently-elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi and former lawyer of incarcerated Reggae/Dancehall superstar, Buju Banton has died at the age of 66.
Lumumba reportedly died of heart failure at St. Dominic’s Hospital after complaining of chest pains on Tuesday. However, no official cause of death has been released at this time.
Known as a civil rights activist and a black radical, Lumumba was regarded as one of the most prominent leaders of a major city to come from the black revolutionary movement. He also served as an accomplished lawyer for several decades, representing late, great rapper, Tupac Shakur, as well as his step-aunt, Assata Shakur, once a member of the Black Panther Party.
In August 2012, 14 months after receiving his 10-year sentence on drug charges, Buju Banton hired Lumumba as his new lawyer in an effort to continue his fight for freedom. Lumumba wa instrumental in bringing forward a case of alleged juror misconduct in the deejay’s February 2011 trial, in which juror Terri Wright was found to have researched aspect of his case during the trial. However, she was not charged with contempt as a result of the misconduct.
Lumumba also helped Buju avoid an additional five-year sentence on a gun charge originally thrown out during the trial.
However, Lumumba left his role as Buju’s lawyer last July after being elected the mayor of Jackson.