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The San Francisco City and County Board of Supervisors has declared February 24, 2022 as a Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier through a resolution passed unanimously at its regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 15, 2022.

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Peltier (Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation), 77, was convicted of killing two FBI agents in a shootout at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in June 1975. Since many legal experts have maintained the federal case against Peltier was flawed. Native Americans across Indian Country consider him a political prisoner.

The resolution also urges “the federal government to release Leonard Peltier and grant clemency after many years of unjust confinement as a political prisoner.”

One point in the resolution reads: “Former Federal Judge Kevin Sharp has declared Leonard Peltier’s innocence on the grounds that he was denied his Constitutional right to a fair trial and has requested his release from Federal prison.”

The resolution was submitted to the Board of Supervisors for consideration by Anthony Gonzales of AIM-West, a chapter of the American Indian Movement, and the American Indian Cultural District. It was introduced to the Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Hilary Ronen.

The Peltier has been incarcerated for over 46 years. He is currently is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Coleman, Fla. (USP Coleman 1).

The resolution mentioned Peltier contracted COVID-19 and has known morbidities, such as diabetes.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors directed the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to transmit a copy of the resolution to President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

In recent weeks, members of Congress and the International Indian Treaty Council have asked President Biden to grant clemency and for his immediate release.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]