Controversial statue of convicted FBI agent killer to be moved by American University

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WASHINGTON DC --  American University leaders have announced plans to move a statue that drew objections from law enforcement and other groups.

The statue is a 9-foot representation of Leonard Peltier, a Native American currently serving two life sentences for the shooting deaths of two FBI agents in South Dakota in 1975.

According to a university website, activists had been hoping to use the statue as a way to drum up support for a presidential pardon because of what they called an unfair trial.

Peltier was one of only three men to face charges in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation shootout which involved more than 150 people. The other defendants were tried separately and a jury found them not guilty of murder, saying they acted in self-defense.

Several groups, including Amnesty International, are behind the effort to find clemency for Peltier.

The FBI, among others, has taken a vocal stance over the last decade in denying Peltier a pardon from the sitting president.

Peltier's statue was part of an art display tied to the Katzen Arts Center on campus. The artwork was placed next to the building and was on prominent display as many people came and left the school.

In making the decision to move the statue, American University leaders said they do not shy away from controversial topics but having the artwork near the front of the school could imply to the school supports clemency in the Peltier's case, which is does not.

A statement released by the school said attention drawn by the display could put students in danger or encourage vandalism at the school.

You can read the full statement from the school below.

Released by American University.
Released by American University.


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