Dennis Banks, seen here with family friend Tracy Rector (left), Robert Upham, and an unidentified relative, stopped by the memorial gathering for Misty Upham on Friday night.

AIM Co-Founder Dennis Banks Remarks on Tragic Death of Misty Upham [Video]


Dennis Banks, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement, stopped by the memorial gathering for Misty Upham on Friday, on the Muckleshoot Reservation in Washington. Upham, an esteemed actress who appeared in Frozen River, Jimmy P., and August: Osage County, had been missing for 10 days before her body was found on Thursday. The search team was made up of family and friends, as the local police had proven frustratingly unhelpful.

RELATED: Misty Upham's Father Says Her Death Was an Accident, but Alleges Mistreatment by Police

Here, in a video posted to the Misty Upham Memorial on Facebook, Banks mourns the loss of "a great, great person," and offers his thoughts on what Indian country needs to do to look after its own when the police will not. The audio is quiet, so we've included a transcription of his remarks below the video.


"The family, the Upham family, had called, called the Auburn police, several times. One directly to the 911, and one directly to the police station, and there was two or three other calls regarding the disappearance of Misty. Somebody -- most everybody who was calling wanted the police to get involved in it. But the police kept saying no, no, they just couldn't, -- they never responded. And that's the sad part about it, because then, only -- and then, only after no response, did the community come together, and decide to have their own search and rescue team. And that's exactly what had to happen. They banded together, they went out, and they found Misty. And that's the whole sad part about it, is that had the police been responding, that it was an emergency, that she was missing, you know, she was in danger of her life -- she would be alive today. She would be right here, sitting, you know -- help some other case, helping out. That's who she was. And we lost, we lost a great, great person, by negligence of the police department. Not responding to it. I think that's the bigger message out of that, is that perhaps that's what we should do, all across this country, because many many times, especially when it's in the Native communities, the police do not respond. That we now create, just like the American Indian Movement did, they created the AIM Patrol, to find out the police brutality, take pictures of it and show the chief of police who doubted it, that there was police brutality. And make do with what we've got, and develop our own search-and-rescue team."

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