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Oglala Sioux vice president speaks about alcohol-related arrest

Tom Poor Bear, the vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, was arrested in February on an alcohol-related charge.

Poor Bear admitted he went out drinking. A police report obtained by the Associated Press said his blood alcohol content was .306, nearly four times the legal limit for driving.

“I don’t drink every day. I’ll maybe have a beer once or twice a month, if that, especially during the summer, and I’ll go to good Indian rodeos,” Poor Bear told the AP.

Despite his arrest, Poor Bear said people on the reservation have been supportive. He's known for his push to find justice for his brother, Wally Black Elk Jr., and cousin, Ron Hard Heart, who were found dead near Whiteclay, a small town known for its liquor stores.

“People came to me and said, ‘Tom, we don’t care what they write about you. We know who you are. We know where your heart’s at and your commitments at,’" Poor Bear told the AP.

Poor Bear said the charge against him was dropped in tribal court.

Get the Story:
AP Interview: Tribal VP says alcohol-related arrest had upside amid suit against beer makers (The Washington Post 6/7)

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