On this episode of the It's Going Down podcast, we speak with Klee Benally of Indigenous Action out of Kinłani, or so-called Flagstaff and Ryan Fatica of Perilous Chronicle. We discuss the case of Loren Reed, a 26 year-old indigenous activist who is facing up to 10 years simply for making Facebook comments about damaging property in a private chat.
Loren is charged with one count of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire,” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charges stem from comments Loren made in a private Facebook chat while planning a protest against police violence in his hometown. Because federal grand juries were suspended in Arizona for six months due to COVID-19, Loren spent the majority of his time in pre-trial detention without an indictment–in legal limbo. After more than four months of detention, he was finally able to enter a plea of “not guilty” to the charge against him.
With the Trump administration lobbing attacks at those it deems “anarchists” and political divisions igniting violence in the streets amidst a historically contentious election, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man from the small town of Page, Arizona has found himself in the crossfire of a national political melee.