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Editorial: Don't judge city by hate crime attacks
Monday, March 30, 2009
Filed Under: Opinion

"Five young people in a car, armed with a BB gun and bags of urine, have re-ignited a conversation about race relations and hate in Rapid City.

The conversation is fine, healthy even. But if the conversation turns to debate, or worse, we’ve given these five youth too much control over the direction of race relations in the community.

To say these young people made an incredibly poor decision would be an understatement — they allegedly shot and threw urine at Native Americans. Last week, these minors were picked up and could be charged with felony malicious intimidation or harassment. They also may face misdemeanor charges of simple assault.

Worse still, one of the teenagers is suspected in a separate incident that involved shooting a pedestrian, also a Native American, with a BB gun.

We understand the severity of the crimes but we hope its potential to cast Rapid City in the light of a hateful community isn’t met. Rapid City is still a very safe community despite this outrageous incident.

We wouldn’t argue Rapid City doesn’t have its issues with race relations. But hate crimes — such as these five youth committed — are, thankfully, fairly uncommon."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Five youth should not frame race debate (The Rapid City Journal 3/29)

Related Stories:
Teen linked to another anti-Indian shooting incident (3/26)
Teens accused of attacks on Indians in Rapid City (3/20)



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