An all-White jury in Rapid City, South Dakota, took less than two hours on April 22 to return a not-guilty verdict in the trial of former American Indian Movement (AIM) member Richard Marshall (of the Lakota Nation) in connection to the murder of fellow AIM member Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claimed Marshall supplied the gun used to kill Aquash.
Aquash was a Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia and a skilled organizer and warrior with AIM who was targeted and threatened with death by the FBI. When her body was found on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in February of 1976, the FBI tried to cover-up her identity and true cause of death by having her buried as an unknown “Jane Doe” who had supposedly died of exposure, despite an obvious bullet hole wound to her head. A second autopsy requested by family members revealed the murder. At the time, an FBI-supported death squad made up mostly of reservation police officers had killed some 60 members of AIM and traditional Lakota people on Pine Ridge. Other death squad murders had also been passed-off as death by exposure by the FBI’s pathologist and were not investigated. Continue reading