(Photo on previous page: Jerry “Leadhorse” Williams. Photo courtesy of Neddie Thompson)
APTN National News
A Native American man involved in a dramatic confrontation with Virginia State Troopers captured on video and widely disseminated online has been sentenced to 10 days in jail, according to the man’s partner.
Jerry “Leadhorse” Williams was convicted and sentenced for obstruction of justice Wednesday in an Appomattox County, Virginia court house.
He was charged after he refused to give identification and step out of a van during a confrontation with Virginia State Troopers which was captured on video and posted to YouTube.
Williams was in the passenger’s seat next to the driver when the van was stopped.
Appomattox County authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.
Neddie Thompson said Williams wanted to appeal his conviction because he does not believe Virginia police have any jurisdiction over him as a Native American man.
“He wants to clear his name, he is not a violent person, he is so kind, he will help anybody,” said Thompson. “If they ask he will help do whatever needs to be done to help people.”
Williams, a Choctaw from Oklahoma who has been living in Akwesasne for over year, was charged after he refused to provide identification to Virginia State Troopers who had pulled over the van he was riding in for speeding.
The video of the confrontation shows Virginia State Troopers growing increasingly angry with a serene Williams who first refused to provide ID and then get out of the vehicle.
The troopers also threatened to use a Taser, pepper spray and a police dog to get Williams out and the other passengers who refused to disembark.
The police dog was brought on the scene. Williams was eventually arrested and charged.
The van was carrying several youth from Akwesasne who were involved as extras in the filming of a movie in Roanoke County, Virginia.
The driver was fined for not having a driver’s license and speeding.
Thompson said Williams does not carry identification.
Thompson said a state trooper testified in court that Williams was not wearing his seatbelt which prompted the request for ID.
Thompson, who was not in the vehicle, said Williams claimed he removed his seatbelt after the van was stopped by police.
Thompson said Williams’ incarceration may also delay a planned shipment of supplies, including clothing, building material and heaters, to the impoverished Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Akwesasne has sent aid to Pine Ridge once before.