FBI Accuses American Indian Movement of Killing Black Civil Rights Activist in ’73 SD Uprising

Dirk Lammers, US News, February 20, 2014

The FBI says a black civil rights activist was killed during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, and it suspects militant members of the American Indian Movement are responsible, according to recently released documents.

The hundreds of pages of reports provided to Buffalo, N.Y., attorney Michael Kuzma and shared with The Associated Press on Wednesday shed new light on the 40-year-old case of Ray Robinson, an activist and follower of Martin Luther King Jr. But the documents fall short of pinpointing where Robinson was buried and do little to fulfill his family’s wish to have the remains brought home to Detroit.

Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson


AIM co-founder Clyde Bellecourt said Wednesday that he was only in Wounded Knee for 51 days and knew nothing of Robinson.


Robinson, a father of three from Bogue Chitto, Ala., traveled to South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in April 1973 to stand alongside Native Americans in their fight against social injustice. The 71-day standoff between AIM members and federal agents at Wounded Knee left at least two tribal members dead and a federal agent seriously wounded. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation occupation is credited with raising awareness about Native American struggles.

The documents were released in response to Kuzma’s June lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to help Robinson’s widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson, and their children get some closure.

Buswell-Robinson, of Detroit, said her husband’s nonviolent approach conflicted with the violent situation at Wounded Knee and that it’s possible AIM members suspected he was a federal informant. The personable, 6-foot-2 black man with a deep baritone voice would have stood out on a Midwest American Indian reservation, she said.


According to the FBI documents, an unidentified cooperating witness told agents that “Robinson had been tortured and murdered within the AIM occupation perimeter, and then his remains were buried ‘in the hills.'”

Any search or excavation attempts would likely be complicated by the reservation’s sovereign status. Buswell-Robinson and her two daughters traveled to Wounded Knee in 2004 to walk areas that Robinson likely walked, but they came back without answers.

Another witness told agents that Robinson was in Wounded Knee for about a week and had difficulty adjusting to the lack of food, the chaos of the scene and the unilateral AIM command. That witness said Robinson immediately wanted to open discussion in the bunker about AIM’s strategies but no one listened or took him seriously.

The witness said Robinson got into a heated exchange with another person and was taken to a house by a security team. When Robinson grabbed a knife from a table, he was circled by AIM security guards, according to the witness. A shot rang out, and Robinson’s eyes “rolled up as he went down.”

Buswell-Robinson, 69, questions that account and believes Robinson was in the Wounded Knee occupation area for hours, not weeks. She said the most likely account of her husband’s death is one passed on to her by Barbara Deming, a writer and political activist who was asked by Buswell-Robinson in the mid-1970s to look into the killing. She relayed the story to Buswell-Robinson in letters years after the disappearance.

According to Deming’s account, Robinson was eating oatmeal one day but hadn’t yet checked in with an AIM leader. He was ordered to report to the leader immediately but said the check-in had to wait until he was finished eating. He was then shot, according to the story.

“Ray did not respond well to that authoritative direction,” Buswell-Robinson said.

The wounded Robinson was taken to a clinic, but the FBI hasn’t pinned down what happened next.

For decades, AIM leaders have denied knowledge of Robinson’s death. One witness told agents that AIM leader Vernon Bellecourt, who died in 2007, knew Robinson had been killed and “made a statement to the effect that AIM had ‘really managed to keep a tight lid on that one’ over the years.'”


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  • Puggg

    Car wreck at the corner of black and Indian?

    Am I saying it right?

    • sbuffalonative

      I don’t think they teach that during Black History Month and I don’t expect they will.

    • Stan D Mute

      Anywhere you find negroes, you’ll find the negro car wreck.

  • Apparently, the American Indians are not as keen on ‘diversity’ and the love of all things negro as Disingenuous White liberals are?

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      No non-black group likes having blacks around. Whites are the only ones who refuse to admit it and who center entire societies around helping blacks. You never see this behavior from non-black non-whites (Asians, Amerindians, Hispanics, etc).

  • TheAntidote

    I’m truly astounded. What about the people of colour coalition? I thought everything was rainbows and lollipops when the White Man’s raycizm was removed.
    (1973): All power to the third world people! Solidarity with the oppressed people of colour!

  • pcmustgo

    Blacks get “heated” real quick. They broil with rage and their body language is hostile and offensive. The looks they can give you… scream murder.

  • In a future race war, the blacks should not count on the Indians as allies. The blacks have made enemies of whites, Mexicans, and apparently Indians. Is there any group that these disgusting creatures do not turn into enemies?

    • Rhialto


      • SouthronKittie

        Fat white women–mudsharks. A man I know is glad the Black man keeps the fatties away from White men,

      • tickyul

        In one word you skillfully point out the TRUTH.
        Liberal White women are probably the biggest backers/cheerleaders of Urban Americans.

        • The Verdict of History

          And yet, white women have been the favorite targets of the gangster/hoodlum onslaught.

          FBI confirmed.

          • tickyul

            Yes, women are easier to brainwash than men.

    • No, no there isn’t.

    • Alexandra1973

      You know that account on this site, I think it’s about blacks and high steel?

      Indians don’t like working with blacks either.

    • Keep Honkin, I’m Reloading

      “Is there any group that these disgusting creatures do not turn into enemies?”


    • Massif1

      Hispanics have successfully kicked out blacks in L.A that have been historically all ghetto black. When LAPD’s south-central division is 100% hispanic there will be zero blacks in that part of town. They’ll have to move somewhere else where section 8 housing takes them.

  • dd121

    This is deeply humorous on so many levels.

    • PvtCharlieSlate

      It is also so overwhelmingly unimportant that it leaves me speechless.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    I love it when diversity tries to eliminate diversity. Less work for the white man when the time comes to repatriate the warring savages to their 3rd world countries of origin.

    • Yeah, just like the Mexicans in South Central Los Angeles who routinely target blacks for murder and beat-downs. The Mexicans are much more tolerant of whites than of blacks, and they despise them living in their communities (oops, I meant ‘barrios’).

  • Spartacus

    Diversity is our greatest race war .

    • sbuffalonative

      THE most obvious observation, where you have diversity you have conflict, yet for some reason blacks and their apologists never see it. Or more likely, ignore it.

    • I still continue to have six word racial vignettes pop in my head too, how do you turn it off?

      • Spartacus

        I never did .

  • Truth Teller

    Swamp Yankee. It was the black buffalo soldiers who carried out the wounded knee massacre. Something we’ll never see in the history books.
    Let’s look at this situation. He is not a Lakota Sioux. He is not an Indian or partly Indian. He is not a member of the tribe, a spouse or relative. He is not an employee, tenant, vender or neighbor. He suddenly appears in a violent situation and tries to tell the commanders what to do.
    He probably expected the living conditions to be like those organized and led by the White commies where the blacks were fed, watered, bedded down and cared for by Whites. And insult of insults, the Indians are in charge of the confrontation and expect him to fit in.
    Did not respond well to direction. Like every black from the time they can walk. Typical black arrogance.
    Reminds me of black women in the workplace. The men just lounge around all day, but often the women try to take charge. They will issue orders to supervisors, people in other departments and everyone whose paths they cross.

    I’ve never heard of this. I wonder who really sent him. Plenty of Pine Ridge people sided with the FBI and the legitimate tribal leadership. The black leadership was full of people trying to assume the crown of MLK and get lots of govt money to run their own activist organizations.


    “Ray did not respond well to that authoritative direction,” < Noooo, I'm shocked! )

  • Alexandra1973

    I was born the same day the Wounded Knee incident began–February 27, 1973.

  • He sacrificed his life in the cause of oatmeal. In any case, it all sounds very vibrant.

  • Truth Teller

    He expected eggs, grits, corn bread with honey and sausage. But they insulted his black manhood by giving him oatmeal like everybody else. I wonder if he came on to any of the women? I understand that those freedom rides, prison law projects the Selma march and other civil rights for all but Whites events provided the black men with plenty of stupid White grils.

  • Truth Teller

    He treated the Indians the way blacks treat Whites, especially the White liberals and the Indians taught him some manners..

  • Alexandra1973

    After reading the snippet here, I recall the Leonard Peltier case.

    Peltier is in Leavenworth for killing two FBI agents back in the 70s. I don’t believe he did it, though, from what I’ve read the evidence doesn’t point to him. Peltier indicated he knows who did it, but they don’t squeal on one another.

    Seems to be the case here too. I really don’t get that kind of thinking. I’d want someone brought to justice for murdering someone…friends don’t let friends get away with murder. Especially if I’d have to take the fall!

    It also sounds like Robinson was up to no good and the AIM guys figured it out.

  • Stan D Mute

    Mestizos ARE Indians. Literally, mestizo means mixed race Indian/white. In Spanish, full blood Indians are “Indios” and mixed are “Mestizos”.

    So there would be tribal warfare yes, but Indian vs negro and then after the negroes were taken care of things would return to the Indian vs Indian tribal conflicts that comprise all of history before the white man arrived.

  • Stan D Mute

    This should surprise no one. Indians have never embraced Africa’s “diversity”. Indians themselves were nearly impossible to enslave, preferring death, and as such had great contempt for the negro’s willingness to be kept. Later, many tribes owned negroes of their own. And the dynamic is consistent throughout the America’s. In Panama, for example, negroes are confined to the Caribbean port city of Colon. Panamanian whites and mestizos avoid Colon like the plague and even the US State Department warns against visiting. In Mexico, the Negritos are kept in a few small villages near Veracruz and Acapulco. Yet you could live in either Veracruz or Acapulco and never see one. In fact, about the only exceptions are in the Spanish Caribbean and in Portuguese based Brasilia. Recent events in the Dominican Republic, however, show how thin the veneer is in the Caribbean with the Supreme Court decision to deny citizenship to all Haitian natives and descendants. Indians will tolerate, accept, and even embrace whites. Some Indians, like the Maya, worship whites. Negroes are another matter entirely.

    It is interesting to me that of all mankind’s subspecies, only the negro is universally incapable of being accepted. Obviously there are exceptions where individual negroes or even small groups may assimilate, but in any number a critical mass is quickly reached where negro behavior turns the tide of his hosts sentiment and he is unwelcome. Everywhere. China, Russia, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Germany, England, France, Australia, etc. And even in the most negro-friendly country, Brazil, the negro is at the absolute bottom of the social caste system.

    To me, it’s really quite remarkable how universal this phenomenon is.

    • Malgus


      I was stationed at Fort Sherman and was cadre at JOTB for 2 years. Sherman is directly across the canal from Colon, and I have been to Colon many hundreds of times… being a lone white in that city is… well, you have to carry yourself a certain way. If your body language says “You do NOT want to f&*k with me!”, then you are largely left alone. It is as close to lawlessness as I have ever seen – really the wild west – and there are constant riots. You know when a riot is brewing because piles of bricks, rocks and cobblestones mysteriously appear on street corners…

      The PNP’s (Panamanian National Police) have what I think we used to call “flying squadrons”… their version is two teams of two guys on motorcycles. Dressed entirely in black and black body armor on black motorcycles, the guys on the back of the bikes sit reversed – facing backwards – and are armed with an MP5 sub-machine guns. They tear a$$ around the city and make no mistake, they WILL ventilate you if you give them a reason to…

      The locals, especially the Kuna indians, are fairly nice and if you give respect, then respect is returned. Kuna indians are the hardest working people I have ever seen and are so rarely involved with crime, to see a ‘bad’ Kuna indian is akin to seeing a Unicorn. They are a simple people, very kind and honorable. The mulattoes and Carib blacks, in contrast, will ALWAYS look to get over on you – either rip you off directly or somehow try to cheat you, if they can.

      Interesting anecdote is that the mulattoes and blacks would try to infiltrate our facility and execute break ins to steal whatever they could. Often, they were caught and justice was meted out. It was not uncommon to see a black or mulatto in Colon on crutches, courtesy of some home-brewed justice…

  • Massif1

    I have never seen any blacks in Indian casinos in California. Now I know why.

  • Truth Teller

    I read an article on Indian Country News. He and his wife owned a small farm. They had 3 kids oldest was 7. She was furious when he went off to save the world. It was the first of April and the start of planting season. He also took another woman with him.
    H swaggered in and tried to take over. While bossing every one around he refused to pick up a gun and fight off the FBI. He hid in the bunker when the others were out there in the line of fire. Food was rationed but he snuck food and ate it. He was always posturing and swaggering in typical black fashion. Some witnesses say he started the fatal altercation.

  • tickyul

    Urban Americans and American Indians……..it is some sort of secret that the two groups DO NOT like each other???????????

  • Leonard Yeaghley apparently sued in civil courts to recover monetary damages he had suffered after an AmRen conference was cancelled due to repeated terroristic threats to hotel staff and management by something called the “One People Project”. Since the plaintiff had a paid speaking engagement at that conference, he was entitled to financial compensation. Tim Wise “wisely” settled out of court on the matter.

    I am 3/16 Amerind. I am delighted our laws worked for him. We have nothing if not for our laws. Yes, they were written by whites, but they benefit all of us.