Free Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier
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73 year old Leonard Peltier is a Native American man who is currently serving 2 life terms in prison for defending his land and his people. Leonard was arrested based off of an accusation of murdering 2 FBI agents during a stand off at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975 after the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1973 and has been in prison for 40 years.
Leonard Peltier was an American Indian Movement leader and was asked by traditional people at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to support and protect the traditional people being targeted for violence. Mr. Peltier and a small group of young AIM members set up camp on a ranch owned by the traditional Jumping Bull family.
On June 26, 1975 two FBI agents in unmarked cars followed a pick-up truck onto the Jumping Bull ranch. The families immediately became alarmed and feared an attack. Shots were heard and a shoot-out erupted. More than 150 agents and law enforcement surrounded the ranch.
When the shoot-out ended the two FBI agents and one Native American lay dead. The agents were injured in the shoot-out and were then shot at close range. The Native American, Joseph Stuntz, was shot in the head by a sniper’s bullet. Mr. Stuntz’s death has never been investigated, nor has anyone ever been charged in connection with his death.
Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976, along with Frank Blackhorse, a.k.a. Frank Deluca. The United States presented the Canadian court with affidavits signed by Myrtle Poor Bear who said she was Mr. Peltier’s girlfriend and allegedly saw him shoot the agents. In fact, Ms. Poor Bear had never met Mr. Peltier and was not present during the shoot-out. Soon after, Ms. Poor Bear recanted her statements and said the FBI threatened her and coerced her into signing the affidavits.
Since there is no proof that Leonard Peltier has ever been connected to the deaths of the FBI agents and he is being held solely on an accusation, I believe he has suffered enough and should be released.
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