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Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba dies at 66

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 6:12 p.m.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (SHOW-kway Lu-MOOM-bah), a human rights activist and nationally prominent attorney who as city leader persuaded voters into accepting a sales tax to fix crumbling infrastructure in Mississippi's capital, died Tuesday. He was 66.

Officials said Lumumba, a Democrat, died at a Jackson hospital. A cause of death wasn't immediately clear.

As an attorney, Lumumba represented Tupac Shakur in cases including one in which the rapper was cleared of aggravated assault in the shootings of two off-duty police officers in Atlanta. Shakur died in 1996.

In 2011, Lumumba persuaded then-Gov. Haley Barbour to release sisters Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott from a Mississippi prison after they served 16 years for an armed robbery they said they didn't commit. Barbour suspended their life sentences but didn't pardon them.