Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
MINNEAPOLIS A little over a week after his misdemeanor trespassing trial ended with a hung jury, charges against Clyde Bellecourt were dropped by the Minneapolis prosecutor's office.
After the judge declared a mistrial last week, an assistant city attorney indicated the city would retry Bellecourt.
The trespassing charge stemmed from Bellecourt refusing to leave the IDS Center, a shopping mall in downtown Minneapolis, last Christmas Eve. He had attended an "Idle No More" round dance flash mob that was put on to bring attention to the hunger fast of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who was on Christmas Eve on a hunger strike that ultimately ended after 44 days, one month later on January 24.
Last December Bellecourt talked to the Native News Network after he was arrested:
“One police officer came over to me and told me to break it up. I told him I was not the organizer of it. He kept calling me "chief" and told me I was their leader. I told him I have never been colonized and told him: "Do your own work." I then went upstairs to Starbucks. I have two stents in my heart and I am diabetic. My blood sugar was low, so I needed some coffee. I went back downstairs, sat down and was drinking my coffee when I was approached again by the police. An officer told me to leave or I was going to jail.”
He was arrested, went through a week-long trial which resulted in the hung jury.
“We have decided it is not a good use of our resources to try it a second time,”
City Attorney Susan Segal said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The 77 year old Bellecourt retrial was set to begin on January 7. With Wednesday's statement, nine months later, Bellecourt can continue on with his life.
posted September 27, 2013 6:40 am edt