December 23, 2014

Locke shooting spurs racial tensions

Sadly and ironically, this happened Dec. 20:

Man attends police brutality rally, gets killed by cop next day

Below:  "Allen Locke, 30, was killed by Rapid City police officer Saturday evening who fired up to five shots."

Here's more on Locke's shooting and the resulting rally:

Native community mourns police shooting victim; South Dakota to investigate

By John Lee McLaughlinThe somber song and pounding of a drum slowly grew louder Sunday as a group descended from a north Rapid City hilltop where they had been mourning the death of Allen Locke.

Comprised of about 30 people, the group finally stopped in front of the home at 541 Paha Sapa Road, where Locke, 30, was fatally shot Saturday night by Rapid City Police after he charged an officer while holding a knife, according to police reports.
The police explanation didn't satisfy Natives:"That's exactly what they did in that press conference is justify everything," she said, while noting that the incident is only part of a longstanding relations issue between local law enforcement and the Native American community. "That's our son. Any mother (here) would say that."

"There is no trust in the police department," Stoneman said, who also called for a task force to address the issue. "In the long run, it's going to have to come from the city: the mayor, the chief of police."
Family of Native Man Shot By Police Pleads For Peace

By Kevin WosterWhatever the details of the Locke incident, the overall issue of race remains a divisive force in Rapid City, Eagle says.

"This all adds to the sentiment that the police aren't here for the Native community, as far as the protection and service goes," she says. "The enforcement and policing of the Native community is what's very evident."

Locke was shot after Meirose had responded to a call from a home in Lakota Community Homes for his removal from that home. The callers requesting his removal were Native Americans, and some in the home were in his family. Family and friends have questioned some of the details in the account offered by the police.

Locke had a history of criminal encounters with law enforcement, including DUI, marijuana possession and simple assault. But whatever his court history, his death is being mourned by those who knew him personally and others in the Native community who did not.
Race Relation tensions on the rise in Rapid City

After Saturday's shootings, tensions escalate downtown

By Adam King
Mayor Kooiker initiated the meeting because he's concerned that some are taking Saturday's lone shooting incident and making it a bigger issue.

"I think to draw a broader conclusion that this negatively impacts race relations in rapid city is wrong," Kooiker said.

Although he does acknowledge that there are some issues that need to be addressed.

"Overall race relations are a continual dialogue and a continual conversation," Kooiker said.

From Eagle's prospective, the mayor and city council are blatantly ignoring the issue.

"At the city level no acknowledgement of the problem even exists. There can be no change unless somebody addresses it. The people in power need to address it," Eagle said.
Tension simmers after Rapid City shooting

Native leaders want more voice in race relations after police shooting of man with a knifeSome Rapid City Native American leaders are upset they were left out of a meeting Monday with Mayor Sam Kooiker over the death of a tribal member who was shot and killed by a Rapid City police. The man charged at the officer with a knife, police said.

Allen Locke, 30, was shot several times by officer Anthony Meirose on Saturday after the officer responded to a call of an unwanted person in the Lakota Community Homes addition. The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Rapid City mayor Sam Kooiker met Monday with some Native American leaders Monday to discuss race relations and show his support for Meirose and the Rapid City Police Department. Some members of the Native American community are unhappy with Kooiker's message and say more people should have been included in the discussion.
Rapid City Mayor on Police Killing of American Indian: “I Want Our Officers to Know We Have Their Backs”

Open Season on Native Men

By Ann-erika White BirdAs for the people who continue to see us as animals and respond with brutality, let the officials in suits and ties take a stand to stop this behavior. Statements mean nothing without action. Institute body cameras. Consider the statistics provided by the Rialto evaluation. When officers had to wear body cameras, citizen complaints against police officers declined by 88 percent, use of force dropped by 60 percent. Let them discuss death prevention, institute procedures. How can we continue to promote peace when our Native men are being gunned down?

In several statements coming from the white community and the Native community, officials like to use the word “dialogue.” What’s difficult to imagine is how that dialogue is going to stop the open season on Native men, especially if officials are in denial that our people are targeted.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see #NativeLivesMatter in Rapid City and Police Shoot Natives Too.

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