(Kahentihetha Horn lies in hospital recovering from a heart attack following confrontation with border agents. Photo courtesy of Kahentinetha Horn.)
APTN National News
KAHNAWAKE, Que.–A long time Mohawk activist is facing trial on two-year old charges stemming from an incident at the Canada-U.S. border that left her recovering in hospital from a heart attack.
Kahentinetha Horn, 70, is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer in relation to a June 14, 2008, confrontation with border guards at the border crossing on Cornwall Island, Ont., in the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve.
Horn, who runs the website Mohawk Nation News, was arrested this past July 19 near Montreal on a Canada-wide warrant that had been issued by the Akwesasne Mohawk police force.
She was eventually released and her lawyer appeared in a Cornwall, Ont., court on Sept. 10. Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 27, said her lawyer Phil Schneider.
Schneider said he received the disclosure file from the Crown on the case Wednesday but hadn’t examined it determine what the case is against Horn.
The Akwesasne Mohawk police could only confirm the charges were laid.
Horn said she is looking forward to trial to have the “truth” come out about the incident.
“I didn’t not do anything wrong. I was the one that almost died,” she said.
Horn tried to seek legal action in federal court against the Canda Border Services Agency, but the effort failed. She said the court wouldn’t hear her case because they didn’t consider her a “resident of Canada.”
According to Horn, the day of the incident began with a trip with two other people across the border to St. Regis Village, which is on the Canadian side of Akwesasne, but only accessible through the U.S., to visit the daughter of one of the passengers.
At the customs border crossing, Horn said they were all identified and then surrounded by border agents wearing flak jackets and leather gloves.
One of the passengers, Katenies, was allegedly “dragged violently from the back seat of the car” who “knocked her down, pinned her to the ground and forced their knees into their heads and back,” according to a court document filed in federal court by Horn.
The court document states that border agents, then “handcuffed her and smashed and rubbed her face into the pavement.”
Horn said in an interview with APTN National News Thursday that she was terrified after witnessing Katenies’ treatment and she refused to leave the car despite orders from border agents.
Horn was then “yanked out of the car” and “thrown around, assaulted, handcuffed and imprisoned” in a cell inside the customs post, the document alleges.
In the cell, Horn said agents tightened the handcuffs, cutting “circulation to her hands. Pain shot up her arms. She saw flashes of light and felt sharp pains in the middle of her chest and back,” the document said.
Horn yelled for help, but the “guards ignored her and tightened the handcuffs more. They yelled threats and kept ordering her down. A man stood behind her and had his hands on her pants.”
At that point, her brother, lawyer Frank Horn, who had been in line at the border post, asked to see his sister.
“My brother started yelling, she is having a heart attack and the ambulance came and took me to the hospital,” said Horn.
She was taken to a hospital in Cornwall and then transferred to the Ottawa Heart Institute.
“She remained in hospital for 5 days in the trauma unit and intensive care unit. The doctors told her she had had a trauma induced heart attack,” said the document.