Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
MINNEAPOLIS A jury in Minneapolis is back in deliberations to today decide the guilt of American Indian Movement's Clyde Bellecourt, 77, who is on trial for the misdemeanor trespassing charge.
After three days over 9.5 hours of deliberations Hennepin County District Judge James Moore declared a mistrial in the trespassing case against American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt. More details to come.
The jury was deadlocked twice yesterday at a Hennepin County District Courthouse. Hennepin County District Judge James Moore asked the jury to go back into deliberation in an attempt to reach a unanimous verdict.
Bellecourt was arrested last Christmas Eve in the Crystal Court of the IDS Center on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
Bellecourt was at the mall at the end of 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, 2013.
After the Round Dance ended, Bellecourt returned to buy a cup of coffee alone when he was approached by police officers who seized his cane, forced him to the floor, and then tried to lift him solely by his handcuffs. Bellecourt is 76 and cannot easily get up and down without assistance, which was denied to him. Bellecourt was unable to stand up and leave IDS on his own so officers arrested Bellecourt and transported him on a stretcher.
Bellecourt, White Earth Ojibwe, told the Native News Network after his arrest he was at the mall as an observer, not an organizer of the event. He actually arrived late and watched the round dance take place.
He was approached by a mall security officer who told him to leave. Bellecourt told the security officer he would leave after he finished his cup of mocha. The mall security then called the Minneapolis police who came and arrested Bellecourt after he told them he them he was diabetic and needed to finish a cup of mocha to get his sugar level back in line.
Bellecourt was the only American Indian who was present at the mall that day to be arrested.
posted September 16, 2013 12:57 pm edt