The Incident at Oglala
Back in the day on June 26th, 1975, FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams followed a red pick-up truck onto the Jumping Bull Ranch on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The FBI would later claim that the two were in pursuit of a Native American named Jimmy Eagle purportedly accused of stealing cowboy boots. As Pine Ridge had been subjected to the “reign of terror” conditions imposed following the violent end of the American Indian Movement’s 71- day occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973, a shootout ensued. After the agents received swift backup, Coler and Williams were found dead as was a Native American man named Joe Stuntz. Known as the “Incident at Oglala,” the shootout led to a major manhunt that resulted in the arrest of three AIM members, including Leonard Peltier, for the deaths of the agents. In a separate trial, the other two AIM members Dino Butler and Robert Robideau were found not guilty. Peltier, who was extradited from Canada, was found guilty by an all-white jury and given consecutive life sentences in an unfair trial.
Repeatedly denied parole and executive clemency, Leonard Peltier has garnered international support as the one of the longest-serving political prisoners in the United States.