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Films >> Incident at Oglala (1992) >>

0:00:17 The Time has Come
Darrelle (Dino) Butler: I think there's gonna come a time when all that has to be told.
0:01:34 Premonition of Death
Robert Sikma: You could tell by the radio transmissions that he was terrified and afraid. And he said, "If you don't get here quick, then we're gonna be dead."
0:02:40 Life after the Incident
Darrelle (Dino) Butler: It would have been easy to die here that day. It was a lot harder to go on living after that day.
0:05:25 Self Defense
Bob Robideau: These two individuals obviously saw us, and they turned towards us, and they were firing at us. And we simply responded by firing back at them. And we got into the best positions that we could in order to protect ourselves and the women and children that were in the house.
0:05:47 Response to Gun Shots
Leonard Peltier: We gotta get those people outta there. What the hell is going on?
0:06:46 Gunshots Hit the Agents
Bob Robideau: I had just discovered, uh, that they both had been hit by my gunfire.
0:07:12 Shooting the Tire
Norman Brown: I had him in my sights, you know. I had the figure of his head. Basically I was aiming right at him, you know. But I couldn't do that. I – I couldn't shoot him. So I shot his front tire out.
0:08:14 No Mercy
Robert Sikma: And when he raised his hand, the gun was put against his hand and fired and part of his hand and the bullet went through his head and carried through the back of his head and he was dead.
0:08:40 Transformation
Bob Robideau: At that moment, it seemed that our whole lives had been transformed. There was nothing left. Um, the only thing we could look forward to, uh, (long pause while looking down) was death. And at that moment we knew it.
0:09:38 Reaction to Joe’s Death
Leonard Peltier: Once we knew that Joe got killed I thought we all were going to die. Perhaps that's what saved us, because it made some of us fight a little bit harder.
0:10:24 Comparison of Shootout to Wounded Knee
News Reporter: It was the worst outbreak of violence in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation since the seventy-one day siege at Wounded Knee two years ago.
0:12:40 Poverty of Pine Ridge
Man (vo): Pine Ridge was probably the poorest reservation in the United States. It's the level of income there, is the lowest of all Indians. It's because of the extreme poverty and because of the extreme neglect by the federal government that it developed into a state of hopelessness and despair that people just could not come out of.
0:13:42 Indian versus Indian
Dennis Banks: It might have been Indian versus Indian, but it was traditional people with traditional beliefs versus people who were puppets for the United States government.
0:15:50 Vulnerable
Man (vo): As a Lakota person, we don't have any protection.
0:17:25 Government’s Plan
John Trudell: It seemed like by January of 1973, that the FBI had sent some people in to Pine Ridge to start training the B.I.A and tribal police on how to deal with subversive and counter subversive activity – whatever that thing is, right – and they started bringing heavy weapons in. Now, this is before the Wounded Knee occupation. This is before, you know, so it's like they had wanted, they had picked that as the grounds, right, to have the standoff.
0:18:57 Self-Sacrificing
Russel Means: we have bet our lives that we can make change for the American Indian, whether we live or die. And I'm prepared to die.
0:20:10 Occupation of Wounded Knee’s Impact on Movement
John Trudell: Maybe. Maybe we broke even . . . But what it did for us as a movement, it was the beginning of the diffusion of the focus. Um, because we then got tied up in courts. And, we then got -- the hunt became more intense. You know, we may be one of the very few organizations in this country that basically every member of the organization was at one point -- at one time or another charged with some criminal act.
0:23:10 Goons
John Trudell: And I never understood how the death-squad mentality – these people that were called goons, but in reality was death-squads – I never understood how they could justify – Wilson, any of them – could justify what they were doing.
0:25:31 Death
Beau Little Sky: I lost a lot of my friends, my brother. My grandparents died bitter. I walked up and buried a lot of my people during that time.
0:28:12 Fear
Nilak Butler: It was the kind of situation if anybody came up that we were not expecting and did not – like if it were at night and they didn't blink their lights a certain way – you assumed they were coming to kill you. And it really is that simple. It was that violent.
0:29:37 Death Toll
John Trudell: You don't see a long list of their dead. You see a long list of our dead. And, you look at that list, and every one of them's got an Indian name – almost exclusively.
0:32:53 Surrounded by Bullets
Nilak Butler: There was automatic fire. You could hear it go by you. You could feel the wind of the bullets go by you.
0:35:54 Wilson on TV
Dick Wilson: The Oglalas don't like what happened. And if the FBI don't get them, we will. We have our own way of punishing people.
Interviewer: Shooting on the reservation?
Dick Wilson (he smiles): You said it. We'll take care of it.
0:37:31 Expected a Conviction
William Kunstler: I couldn't see how a Midwestern jury, a hinter-land's jury, in considering the fate of two Native Americans who weren't even residents there, but came from somewhere else, finding them innocent of the murder of two white FBI agents.
0:38:10 Dehumanization
Nilak Butler: I remember one day, um, Tina and I and the kids were gonna cross the street and the marshals came out and they made us go and sit behind, um, another building, cause they were bringing the jury out to the buses. So they didn't even want the jury to see us, you know – two women with a bunch of kids. And you can't tell me that was a security issue. They didn't want the jury to look at us as human beings on any level.
0:42:12 False Testimony
Darrelle (Dino) Butler: (sigh) So, being there by myself. No choice. I sort of went along with them, you know? And it's wrong because it wasn't true.
0:43:38 Harper’s Character
Robert Bolin: The testimony of Jim Harper was another vivid memory because he was a real sleaze ball when he came on.
0:49:05 Lack of Surprise
Robert Sikma: I wasn't totally surprised, because that trial, as trials go, really got out of hand.
0:54:38 False Affidavit
John Lowe: Now that means that within a week after they had the third spurious affidavit, they knew that there was no physical evidence to corroborate that she was ever there.
0:56:59 Extraditing Peltier from Canada
John Trudell: They used perjured affidavits to get the Canadian government to send him back to the U.S. to stand trial. But the realities are the perjured documents aren't what convinced the Canadian government to send him back. The perjured documents are what gave the Canadian government the rationalization to send him back, because the Indians are as much as a threat up there (laughing). See, the Indians don't like the way they are treated anywhere.
1:02:06 Stacked Against Peltier
Darrelle (Dino) Butler: In the courtroom, the atmosphere was very – it was very tense, I felt. I think Leonard Peltier would have gotten convicted even – even if God was his attorney.
1:04:08 Peltier’s Prepared Letter
Leonard Peltier: There is no doubt in my mind or my people's minds you are going to sentence me to two consecutive life terms. You are, and have always been, prejudiced against me and any Native Americans who have stood before you. You have openly favored the government through this trial and you are happy to do whatever the FBI would want you to do in this case. You are about to perform an act which will close one more chapter in the history of the failure of the United States courts and the failure of the United States to do justice in the case of a Native American. After centuries of murder, could I have been wise in thinking that you would break that tradition and commit an act of justice?
1:09:55 Casing should have been a Red Flag
Bruce Ellison: This casing from the trunk of the car would have been a red flag to any, even beginning, any novice investigator and would have been one of the first things that he would examine.
1:10:58 Easy of Forging Evidence
Bruce Ellison: It's not –It doesn't involve massive collusion. It's very simple. It takes a bolt mechanism, an AR-15, a box of ammunition, and a felt tip marker.
1:12:53 Discrepancies in Vehicle Description
William Kunstler: But initially, all of the FBI's own descriptions of that vehicle was that it was a pickup or a jeep, but never a van. And what Leonard Peltier had was a van.
1:14:05 Van and Pickup are Synonymous
Robert Sikma: I don't know if Williams and Coler were raised on a farm or in the country, but – but that van is a pickup to some people.
1:19:42 Inconsistencies
Lynn Crooks: Yes, there are inconsistencies, but you have not yet pointed out one of them that was not available to that jury and fully explored in cross examination. And you don't simply retry cases because people aren't satisfied with the result that the jury came up with.
1:20:18 Justice
Darrelle (Dino) Butler: You know, I don't know what justice is.
1:23:23 Confirmation of Mr. X’s Story
Leonard Peltier: This story is true, but I can't – I will not say anything about it. For me to testify against anybody or even mention – try to get somebody else in trouble is wrong. And I won't do it. Cause it's against my beliefs. It's against my religion, my culture. It's against everything that we fought for and stood up for.
1:26:12 Guilt
Leonard Peltier: The only thing I'm guilty of is struggling for my people. I didn't kill those agents.