Friday, December 21, 2007

FBI Series: A Day in the Life in Indian Country

Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, the mother of two young daughters, is pictured before she was brutally executed and pushed over a cliff on the orders of the leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM).
"It was a bitterly cold, lonely morning when Anna Mae Pictou Aquash drew her last breath. Had she trusted the FBI, they could have saved her..."---Joe Trimbach
"Dozens of co-conspirators, even minor players who aided and abetted the murder and subsequent cover-up, could face the same fate that awaits Anna Mae's alleged executioner: life in prison."--Joe Trimbach
The FBI has a long history in Indian Country. One of the Bureau's earliest and most famous investigations was the infamous case called the Osage Indian Murders.
Recently, the FBI has been doing a four-part series called "A Day in the Life in Indian Country." I have posted the featured quote from each article.
Part 1 of the Series: Indian Country agents are some of the FBI's most experienced criminal investigators. Agents are required to respond to a wide variety of criminal matters and work them from the ground up, to include conducting victim, witness and subject interviews, crime scene investigations and analysis, fugitive investigations, as well as taking cases through prosecution. Indian Country work can be difficult and challenging but agents who work it have a real impact on the community."- Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer Leonard, head of the Indian Country/Special Crimes Unit, FBI Headquarters
Part 2 of the Series: “You really have to be more than a good investigator out here. You have to be part-historian, part-sociologist, and even part-genealogist. You have to know who’s related to whom, whether someone’s status in a tribe will complicate your case, what the history of the various tribes is and the differences between them. We lean on our tribal partners as much as we can, but the more we truly grasp the realities here, the better.”- Special Agent Doug Klein, on working in Indian Country
Part 3 of the Series: These police, who typically handle misdemeanors like public intoxication and petty theft, aren’t our only partners in Indian Country. We also depend on:
-Tribal judges, who can help us by releasing those serving a misdemeanor sentence in exchange for their help on future FBI cases;
-Federal probation officers, who know when someone is about to be released from prison back into the community or if someone has violated probation and is a potential threat;
-State, county, and other local police, who might help investigate crimes off the reservation and who participate in joint task forces for drugs and violent crimes;
-The U.S. Attorney and assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecute the cases we investigate;
-Health care professionals, especially from the Indian Health Service, who report cases of suspected abuse and provide services to victims; and
-FBI victims specialists, who provide witnesses and victims with support services.
Part 4 of the Series: “The impact you have here is just tremendous. The crimes we investigate touch people’s day-to-day lives in a very real way—the murder of a friend, kids getting molested by their uncle. That’s why we’re here: to give victims a voice and to remind them that ‘justice for all’ applies equally to everyone in America.”- Special Agent John Quinlan

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