political prisoners

Leonard Peltier
The following are trial transcript excerpts from testimony of Wilford "Wish"
Draper who was present at the Jumping Bull compound on June 26th, 1975.  He
was called as a government witness.  He remained in the "tent city" area and
witnessed nothing of the events near the agents cars at the time of the
death of the two agents.  The following portion of the transcript comes from
cross examination.  He was 16 years old on June 26th, 1975.
Mr. Draper fled the area with the others who were present that day, making
his way to Canada where he remained for five months.  Shortly after
returning to AZ he was stopped while driving with a friend for having beer
in the vehicle..the testimony below begins with this stop.


A They just said the FBI, what he did was he came towards me and said, 
  "Are you Wish?" I says, "Yeah." He told me, "Were you in Pine Ridge 
  last summer?" I said, "Yeah." and then {1083} he asked me that a 
  subpoena out here for me from Rapid City.
Q  Now, is that the first thing he did, contact, or was it about
  something you were doing?
A  That was the first contact.
Q  Did he have his weapon drawn?
A  Yes.
Q  What kind of a weapon did he have drawn, do you know?
A  A pistol.
Q  And do you know who it was that did this and had the weapon
A  Yes.
Q  Who was it?
A  It was Charles Stapleton.
Q  It he a special agent with the FBI?
A  Yes.
Q  What if anything was said about your drinking beer at that time?
A  Nothing was said, but they just booked me for the beer charge
  and they took me to jail. And I spent the night in jail.
Q  All right. I don't think you stated what time of the day was
  this that they saw you in the pickup?
A  About 5:00 in the evening.
Q  And about how long was it before they took you down to the jail?
A  About three hours.
Q  Now, is that before they took you to the jail?
A  Yes.
Q  Where were you up until that time?
A  I was in an office, and there they took me in there and they
  asked me all kinds of questions.
  And they took my wallet and they took all kinds of papers I had
  with me and they put it in a plastic bag. And they said, "We're 
  going to use this as evidence," and I just went with them freely. 
  And they put me in a chair and handcuffed me and tied me to the chair.
Q  How did they tie you to the chair?
A  I was handcuffed in the back like this (indicating) and he got a
  belt and put it around the chair and buckled it around me, and the 
  chair with it.
Q  Had you made any attempt to run or anything up until that point?
A  No.
Q  Had you said anything to them about trying to escape or run or
  anything of that nature?
A  No.
Q  Did that scare you when they did that?
A  Sort of scared me, yeah.
Q  Were the handcuffs tight?
A  No.
Q  And they talked to you that way for three hours?
A  Yes. And they talked and they called all over the places.
Q  Did you give them permission to look at your wallet and the
  papers in it?
A  No.
Q  Did they take it nonetheless?
A  Yes.
Q  Now, who was present while this was going on?
A  There was another BIA special agent, Frank Gadake.
Q  All right. Where did you spend the night?
A  In the jail.
Q  And where, what town was that in?
A  Chinle.
Q  What happened the next day?
A  Well, they took me to Gallup, that's in New Mexico, and there I
  met some more agents.
Q  Who else did you meet there?
A  James Doyle.
Q  Anybody else?
A  Ken Oliver is an agent from Gallup and Mike Ness.
Q  All right. What happened there?
A  And he told me about what happened in Pine Ridge and they asked
  me about what happened up there. And they said, "We'd like to have a
  statement from you," things like that.
Q  Did they tell you in detail what had happened at Pine Ridge?
A  No. They just told me about what happened, and I just told, gave
  a statement. Then from there they took me home. Within a week we went 
  to Sioux Falls, to the Grand Jury.
Q  All right. Now, did Special Agent Stapleton and Special Agent
  Doyle both talk to you there in Gallup?
A  Yes.
Q  What did they tell you would happen to you if you didn't
  cooperate with them?
A  Well, they asked me you'll get indicted.
Q  Indicted for what?
A  Murder charge.
Q  Did that scare you?
A  Yes, it did.
Q  Did it sound to you like Evelyn Bordeau had been right?
A  Yes.
Q  Over the years prior to that event while you were sitting in
  Gallup, New Mexico, did you have a general awareness of the presence 
  of the FBI on the reservations and near where you were living?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you have a general sense that the FBI had a lot of power to
  do things?
A  Yes. In a way I thought.
Q  Did you have a general feeling that they could pull strings to
  make things happen when they wanted to?
A  Yes. I had a general sense.
Q  So when Special Agent Doyle and Special Agent Stapleton told you
  if you didn't cooperate you would be indicted for murder, did you 
  believe them?
A  Yes.
Q  Where did you go next?
A  Well, we went to -- I went to Albuquerque with Doyle, and we
  flew out of there and went to Rapid. And from Rapid we went to Pine 
  Ridge again, the reservation.
  And they showed me where, took me back to Jumping Bull and Oglala
  and went to Bear Runner's place again and Morris Wounded's house. Then 
  from there we went to Pierre and spent the night there, and the next 
  day we went to Sioux Falls and went to the Grand Jury.
Q  Now, in addition to telling you that if you didn't cooperate,
  that you would, that they would indict you for murder, did they tell 
  you what would happen if you would cooperate? What they were willing 
  to do?
A  No. They just said --
Q  Let me ask you specifically, did they tell you if you would
  cooperate that they would protect you?
A  Yes.
Q  Did they tell you they would give you a new identity?
A  Yes.
Q  Did they tell you they would get you a job somewhere else?
A  Yes.
Q  Did they tell you they'd get you education or training if you
  needed it?
A  Yes.
Q  Did they tell you they could take care of you financially?
A  Yes.
A  Yes.
Q  Do you remember during the time prior to this incident on any
  occasion meeting or seeing a woman in the Jumping Bull Area named 
  Anna Mae Aquash?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you ever see a woman, or did you ever know a woman during
  that time named Myrtle Poor Bear?
A  No.
Q  On June 26th, 1975, the date of this incident, do you know
  whether there was a person named Myrtle Poor Bear in the camp area?
A  No.
Q  Perhaps my question was not phrased as well as it could have
  been. Because you said "no", I am not clear. You mean that you don't 
  know or that there was no such person, will you just state?
A  No. I didn't see no[any] person. I didn't know Myrtle Poor Bear
  until I got to Sioux Falls. A picture was given to me of Myrtle Poor 
Q  Did you know who it was?
A  No.
Q  Had you ever seen her at the camp?
A  No.
Q  And when I say "the camp", I mean the Jumping Bull area?
A  I might have seen her, but I don't remember. I can't place her.
Q  If she had been Leonard Peltier's girlfriend --
MR. HULTMAN:  (Interrupting) Now, if it please the Court, I am now
  going to object. This question has been asked and answered four times. 
  The foundation clearly {1119} shows that this witness doesn't know 
  Myrtle Poor Bear.
MR. LOWE:  Your Honor, he said he wouldn't remember. I am just
  going to ask a foundation question whether he would remember if he had 
  seen her. That is proper cross
THE COURT:  You may ask the question.
Q  (By Mr. Lowe) If this person had been a girlfriend of Leonard
  Peltier during the time you were living there, do you think you would 
  have known her?
A  No.
  there though?
A  Yes.
Q  And that was Leonard Peltier's girlfriend?
A  Yes.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


TRUE DEMOCRACY     SPRING 2001     Copyright © 2001 by News Sourse, Inc.