Police Protest Rally Aimed At Racial Awareness
By Kevin Woster
Demonstrators came from across South Dakota and beyond to protest what they believe is unjust treatment of Native Americans by Rapid City police.
They gathered in Memorial Park adjacent to the Lakota Nation Invitational sports and cultural event at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Demonstrators called out the names of Native Americans found dead along Rapid Creek over more than 15 years, arguing that many of the deaths weren't solved because non-Indian investigators didn't care.
"We're tired of our people being found dead in this creek. No investigations. They're unsolved," Julee Richards of Pine Ridge said.
Police say the string of deaths, including one last week, along the creek were thoroughly investigated. Some appeared to be drownings or other natural causes. In some instances alcohol was involved. But some of the deaths remain a mystery.
By Andrea J. Cook
Rapid City Police officers stood discretely in the background while American Indian Movement Grassroots leaders welcomed the gathering that included both Native Americans and non-Natives who braved overcast skies and a sudden cold snap to stand with people around the nation to oppose police brutality
"Discrimination is alive here," Bill Means of Porcupine told the crowd before the group set out for a walk down Fifth Street and along Omaha Street. As participants walked, the names of 25 individuals who died along Rapid Creek were read.
Walkers stopped at the corner of Fifth and Omaha streets to raise their posters and show solidarity before they lined up along Omaha Street raising their hands and shouting "Hands up don't shoot" and "Native lives matter."
We Are All to Blame for Michael Brown and Eric Garner Not Getting Justice
By Gyasi Ross
But we're still in the same place we've been in for the past 50 years: merely diagnosing the problem. As we used to say in the '80s, "No shit, Sherlock." We're pointing at the racism, pointing at all these agencies and municipalities that we cannot do anything about. The one place where we're not pointing? We're not pointing at ourselves. We let this happen. Black folks. White liberals. Pigeon-toed Natives. Conservatives. All of us. We're all complicit.