Controversial statue of Leonard Peltier removed from AU campus


American University removed a statue of a convicted FBI agent killer on Tuesday afternoon after the art project enraged law enforcement supporters.

The nine foot-tall statue was of Leonard Peltier, a man convicted of murdering not one, but two FBI agents back in 1975.  Peltier admitted to shooting the agents, but denies firing the lethal shots.  He was given two life sentences for the agent's deaths.

When the American University Art Museum suddenly put up the statue at its building on Nebraska and Massachusetts avenue,  there was a good deal of complaints that putting up a statue of the convicted killer of two FBI agents was an insult to law enforcement.

On Tuesday, the Leonard Peltier statue was dismantled.  In a statement American University said while they support the museum's mission to be thought provoking and educational - the Peltier statue, in a public space outside the museum improperly suggested that the university had taken a political position as an advocate for clemency for Peltier, which it has not.

But while AU took down the statue on its campus, that might not be the last we see of it. Turns out in that same statement the AU museum has offered to work with the artist to find an alternative organization that would be willing to exhibit the art, meaning it could turn up someplace else.

American University was heavily criticized by the president of the FBI agents association which demanded the statue's removal.  On Tuesday a spokesperson for the association told FOX 5 they are pleased with the decision, and are calling on president Obama to deny Peltier’s petition for a presidential pardon. 

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