Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City. He was named after Túpac Amaru II, an Incan revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain and subsequently received capital punishment. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an active member of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; Shakur was born just one month after her acquittal on more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case. Although officially unconfirmed by the Shakur family, several sources list his birth name as either "Parish Lesane Crooks" or "Lesane Parish Crooks". Afeni feared her enemies would attack her son, and disguised their relation using a different last name, only to change it three months or a year later, following her marriage to Mutulu Shakur.
Struggle and incarceration surrounded Shakur from an early age. His godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was later overturned. His stepfather, Mutulu, spent four years at large on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982, when Shakur was a pre-teen. Mutulu was wanted in part for having helped his sister Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard), Tupac's godmother, to escape from a penitentiary in New Jersey, where she had been incarcerated for allegedly shooting a state trooper to death in 1973. Mutulu was caught in 1986 and imprisoned for the robbery of a Brinks armored truck in which two police officers and a guard were killed. Tupac had a half-sister, Sekyiwa, two years his junior, and an older stepbrother, Mopreme "Komani" Shakur, who appeared on many of his recordings.
Even as he garnered attention as a rapper and actor, Shakur gained notoriety for his conflicts with the law. In October 1991, he filed a $10 million civil suit against the law enforcement of the Oakland Police Department, alleging they brutally beat him for jaywalking. The suit was later settled for $42,000.
In October 1993, in Atlanta, Shakur shot two off-duty police officers (one in the leg, one in the buttocks) who were harassing a black motorist. Charges against Shakur were dismissed when it was discovered that both officers were intoxicated and were in possession of stolen weapons from an evidence locker during the occasion
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