Note: Paul Barnsley from Windspeaker Magazine in Canada, responding to Bob Newbrook claiming that he was the person who actually had arrested Leonard Peltier in Canada on Feb. 5, 1976, a day before the RCMP arrested him at Smallboys Camp.
I was tipped off to the fact that Bob Newbrook was going around making the statement that he was the police officer who arrested Peltier back in the 70s. Of course, I saw it as potential blockbuster of a story.
I took me a while to find Bob but he was living in Langley (outside of Vancouver) and, by coincidence, I was scheduled to go to New Westminster, so I arranged to meet him.
We spent an evening together and I noticed he was a little quirky at times, a little too interested in bragging to young women, etc. etc.
After that brief meeting, I met him two weeks later in Hinton, Alberta, a place where he was in the process of moving (returning) to after his long-term marriage had ended.
We drove together up into the mountains to Smallboy's Camp, the site of Peltier's arrest and he showed me around, told me where things had happened and in what order. I met and interviewed a couple of long term residents of the community who were able to verify that what he told me was accurate.
I went to the Hinton city hall with Bob and dug through their records and found documents verifying that he had indeed been a member of the Hinton police force during the time in question.
But Leonard Peltier himself dictated a note to me that denied Bob's version of events. Leonard's attorney also told me it was just not true.
I grilled Bob on that (not a comfortable situation because he's a very engaging and likable person). Eventually, Bob produced a letter from a doctor that dealt with his brain damage and possible behavioural side effects.
He'd been an avid hang glider and had had a serious accident almost two years before. It was in the latter stages of his recovery that he saw the movie Incident at Oglala He was outraged by what he saw as a travesty of justice.
Bob himself, as I paraded the evidence against his claim before him, came to the realization that his claims were not true. He voluntarily showed me the doctor's letter with a certain amount of embarrassment. It was difficult for him to accept that his mind could mislead him as it would be for all of us.
We reported all of that in the story about Peltier going to the Mayo Clinic for jaw surgery a month or two after the original story appeared. It was intentionally buried a dozen or so paragraphs in because it was a difficult matter to dealt with.
We wanted to leave the man with some dignity and show as much respect as possible for his privacy.
Many times I have since second-guessed the decision about the kid glove treatment we gave Bob in that second story. Every time I see the initial story on some activist Web site I come to the realization that the false impression that these claims create is still out there in some people's minds.
Support the extradition of John Graham
Indigenous Women for Justice
Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash and Ray Robinson Jr. Justice Fund
One of the first AIM people to suspect that Douglass Durham was some sort of government agent was Anna Mae Pictou Aquash...
Ostriches Awakened, AIMster Pomp and Circumstance, Dues Being Paid While the Sharks (and Remoras) Come Out to Play
Anna Mae and Indigenous Poppycock
Allow No Muddying of the Water as Justice Comes to Anna
26 Years, Her Hands, Lies and Foundations Shifting
Anna Mae Archive