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FBI to Protest Possible Peltier Pardon

December 14, 2000, 12:00 AM

FBI to Protest Possible Peltier Pardon
Before leaving office, President Bill Clinton is considering giving convicted murderer Leonard Peltier a pardon. Peltier is in a federal prison for killing two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. KELO-LAND's Vernon Brown has the story of some unusual demonstartion concerning Peltier's possible release. Doug, there's always some group protesting outside the White House, but tomorrow 200 FBI workers will be there objecting to the President considering Peltier's release. In 1973 AIM occupied Wounded Knee in a clash over treaty and civil rights. The group's violence errupted beyond the reservation at the Custer and Minnehaha County Courthouses. Much like those windows, many of the broken relations from those days have been repaired, unless you talk about Peltier. His case still stirs emotions in South Dakota and across the country. Two FBI agents followed Peltier and others in a Red Suburban into this Jumping Bull area, one mile from an AIM camp. Agents Ron Williams and Jack Coler were ambushed, and finally shot at point-blank range. Federal gun expert tests, still a source of contention in the case, say Peltier did it. He was captured, convicted and kept in the Leavenworth Kansas Federal prison, where to this day he claims his innocense. "I didn't specifically shot at them. I shot back. I returned fire when I was receiving it," says Peltier. "I believe he should stay put where he is," says retired FBI Agent Adrian Mohr. Retired FBI Agent Adrian Mohr spent time at Wounded Knee during the occupation. He didn't work in South Dakota when the agents were killed. He and many law enforcement officers who were around 25 years ago are trying to make their voices heard in the White House. "No matter what happens, the individual has been convicted, all the appeals have run out. He should not be released," says Mohr. Mohr has called a White House hot line set up for people on both sides of the issue to leave their thoughts. Many law enforcement officers and many activists for Peltier are calling it. They're also e-mailing messages, hoping the president will be sympathetic to their opinions. The number is 1-800-663-9566 or you can email president@whitehouse.gov. What will tomorrow's gathering of agents be like? They'll deliver a petition to the White House, asking the president to keep Peltier in jail, and they'll do a silent vigil march around the president's home.

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