Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 30, 2023

Arrest Warrant Reveals Details of Hate Crime at Onate Statue Prayerful Protest

Ryan Martinez with the weapon. Detail of photo by Albuquerque Journal.

Arrest Warrant Reveals Details of Hate Crime at Onate Statue Prayerful Protest

The Red Nation's statement: Shooter's gun jammed, planned to shoot others

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

ESPANOLA, New Mexico -- The arrest warrant for the man who shot Jacob Johns, Hopi and Akimel O'odham, reveals details of the attempted murder of the peacemaker at the prayerful protest of the rededication of the Juan de Onate statue.

The shooter aimed his gun at a second person before fleeing, driving in the wrong lane south toward Pojoajue Pueblo during the chase.

Earlier in the day the shooter made racist comments to the children at the shrine during his actions to disrupt the gathering.

Ryan Martinez shown wearing MAGA cap at gathering.
Witnesses said he was searching for security camercas
when this photo was taken at the event.

Ryan David Martinez, the shooter, was wearing a Make America Great Again, MAGA, red cap. After his arrest, Martinez laughed when shown a photo of him holding the gun that fired the shot.

The arrest warrant, filed in Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court, reveals these details:

The person who had the gun aimed at her, after Johns was shot, told an officer that Martinez was attempting to get to the shrine with the children around it, and a group of Peacekeepers blocked the way.

The shrine for protection at the site, pointing out that Onate was a mass murdered and conquistador. Onate was known to the Pueblos as "the butcher."

Martinez retreated across the wall and pulled out a handgun from his waistband and fired, striking Johns in the abdomen.

As Martinez started to leave, he again raised his gun and pointed at the second person.

One of the witnesses present pursued the shooter so that he would not get away, and saw the shooter driving in the wrong lane of traffic.

Martinez was driving in the opposite lane of travel at various points of the chase. The man in pursuit lost a visual of the Tesla and saw Espanola Police Chief Mizel Garcia pass him and continue to follow. The chase continued south on US 84/285 until  Martinez' white Tesla was pulled over by officers.

After being placed under arrest, Martinez was shown a photo of him wearing the same clothes and holding the gun. Martinez "chuckled," when he saw the photo.

(Above) Rio Arriba County Arrest Warrant for Ryan David Martinez in attempted murder of Jacob Johns

An officer states in the arrest warrant:

"While I was in the interview, I was texted a photograph of Ryan wearing the same clothes pointing a gun. I showed Ryan the photo and he chuckled."

Martinez is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Peacekeeper Jacob Johns, Hopi and Akimel O'odham,
shown with his daughter, was shot in the abdomen
and is undergoing multiple surgeries.

Johns, who was preparing to lead an Indigenous delegation to the United Nations climate summit COP28 in Dubai, was shot in the abdomen and is undergoing multiple surgeries in a New Mexico hospital.

Armed militia were present at the gathering, some wearing the Make America Great Again red caps popular with Trump supporters.

The Red Nation's video statement shows that armed militia were present.

"How many times does this have to happen for people to realize the ongoing genocide, the murder, the rape, it affects all of us," Red Nation says at the site.

Juan de Onate: The Butcher

Maurus Chino, Acoma Pueblo, said, "We equate the conquistador Juan de Onate and his soldiers with Hitler and the Nazis. Both practiced genocide. The Spanish land grant system is nothing but double-speak for the theft of native lands. These lands that were so freely 'granted' are Indian lands," Chino said in 2006.

Objecting to a celebration for Onate, he said, "We are offended by these 'celebrations.' Would decent people sit by and do nothing if we had a parade of Nazis as part of an event of 'cultural heritage?'"

"In January 1599, a larger force was sent to Acoma, where an epic battle ensued lasting three days and by historical accounts of the Spanish themselves, the ended with over 800 hundred men, women, and children being butchered."

"Men over the age of 25 were sentenced to have one-foot cut and 25 years of slavery. Males between the ages of 12 and 25 were likewise given 25 years of slavery. Young girls between the ages of 12 and 25 were given 25 years of slavery. 60 young girls were sent to priests in Mexico, never to return to Acoma."

The ACLU of New Mexico condemned this act of hate and violence.

"Yesterday, Indigenous people and allies gathered on Tewa land, in the town now known as Española, to pray and celebrate the postponement of the reinstallation of a statue honoring a conquistador notorious for the cruel and genocidal treatment of Indigenous people in what is now New Mexico. Juan de Oñate’s legacy includes the massacre of hundreds of Acoma Puebloans in the late 1500s, after which he cut off the right feet of dozens of men who fought to protect their communities and ancestral lands.

"A gunman, reportedly wearing a MAGA hat linked to far-right extremism, charged toward the gathering. He shot and injured Jacob Johns, a Native American protester who witnesses say used his body to protect the women and children at the event. Our hearts go out to Johns, his family, loved ones, and his community, and we wish for a speedy recovery.

"The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico condemns this act of racist and hateful violence, as well as the cruel effort by the Rio Arriba County Commission to engage in cultural erasure and violence by honoring a colonizer — whose violence was too extreme even for the Spanish king — against the clear wishes of the Indigenous community that has called this area home millennia before New Mexico was a state.

"We stand firmly against violence or aggression threatening the safety and well-being of those who peacefully gather in prayer. Such violence is morally indefensible and runs counter to the values we hold dear as a society. The First Amendment does not protect the violent conduct that was cowardly displayed in Española yesterday.

"We know our racist criminal legal system will not bring true justice and healing to the people harmed in yesterday’s shooting, so we will follow the guidance of Indigenous leaders and advocates on the ground for what true reconciliation looks like. We urge the Rio Arriba County commissioners to do the same," the ACLU said.

The Center for Biological Diversity's executive director Kierán Sucking said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

“I’m horrified and devastated by the shooting this week in New Mexico of Jacob Johns, an Indigenous climate and justice activist, by a MAGA hat-wearing bigot. The Center for Biological Diversity stands by the brave actions of Johns and with the Indigenous Peoples of New Mexico and North America resisting the resurrection of a monument to violent conquistador Juan de Oñate."

“The Center’s work to end the climate and extinction crises is rooted in resistance to colonial extractivism. We honor the tireless organizing of Indigenous activists resisting all forms of settler racism, including The Red Nation, the Three Sisters Collective, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, and NDN Collective, who led this week’s peaceful gathering in Tewa Territory, Española, New Mexico. We commit to fighting for justice, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

More at Censored News:

Jacob Johns undergoing multiple surgeries

Native shot during a prayerful protest of Onate statue

Copyright Censored News

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