Mohawk grandmothers Kahentinetha Horn and Katenies were in custody at the US/Canadian border on Saturday, June 14, 2008, when the two women were handcuffed and beaten by gangs of officers and border patrol agents. Eight officers beat Kahentinetha, 68, and five officers beat Katenies. Kahentinetha, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, suffered a heart attack and is in a Canadian hospital. Katenies was released from jail Monday evening and is in seclusion. Katenies, in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon, described the police attack on the women at the border. Katenies said the women were returning to Canada from a visit in the US, when they were stopped at the border. After the women showed their Haudenosaunee identification, they were told the IDs were not sufficient and they were detained.
Katenies was told she had an earlier warrant. She had refused to recognize the authority of the Canadian government over her. In the earlier case she had stopped at a border check and was granted permission to pass, but border agents later claimed she was not cleared to pass. When she refused to recognize the authority of the Canadian government over her, a warrant resulted.
On Saturday, when Katenies refused to get out of the car, five huge Canadian officers and border agents jumped on her, dragged her out and threw her to the concrete, grinding her chin into the concrete.
"I went down so fast, they had knees in my back and kidneys. They were like a football team on me and they acted like they had no boundaries."
"They told me if I didn't cooperate, they would break my arms."
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As officers attacked Katenies, Kahentinetha was on her cell phone calling family members and authorities for help. When Kahentinetha refused to hang up, eight officers attacked her.
Katenies was placed in a cell and could hear the officers bring in Kahentinetha. Katenies could hear Kahentinetha yelling for them to loosen the handcuffs. By the screams of pain, Katenies said it sounded like the police were continuing to tighten the handcuffs as Kahentinetha cried out.
Kahentinetha was handcuffed in a stress hold. The handcuffs cut off Kahentinetha's circulation and she suffered a heart attack.
A family member arrived at the same time and was able to get an ambulance immediately for Kahentinetha and she was transported to a hospital.
Katenies was transported to jail in Cornwall, where she remained from Saturday until Monday evening. Katenies said the two women were not charged, but were told they would be charged later.
Kahentinetha remains in the hospital, with family present, and her condition is not known.
A member of the Mohawk Warrior Society said, "They did this because we have the greatest weapon, the truth, and what Kahentinetha writes is the truth. They are terrified of the truth. What they are trying to do is provoke the Mohawks." He said ultimately what they want is to provoke the Mohawks into a confrontation so the Mohawks who are resisting will be shot and killed. He said the plan was to assassinate Kahentinetha.
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