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Activists call on political leaders to free Mercury star Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury WNBA
Landon Brown/Cronkite News
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner poses with a fan in 2019.

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for nearly a month on allegations of drug possession, and activists are now calling on President Biden to ask former President Trump for help. At a demonstration in Los Angeles, Najee Ali says Trump’s friendly relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin could be beneficial.

"Former President Trump does have an amicable relationship with Putin," Ali said. "So if it takes us reaching out to former President Trump to get Americans home, then so be it."

Ali called for bipartisan cooperation in bringing Griner back to the United States.

“I don’t care whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican, we need to have our politicians, those who have power and influence, bring her home safely," Ali said.

Griner was arrested at an airport near Moscow on Feb. 17 when Russian officials say they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.

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Nick Sanchez is a senior producer for KJZZ's The Show. He joined the station as an intern during the spring of 2022, where he developed a passion for audio storytelling in the Valley.