Kevin Abourezk: Police shootings at Pine Ridge
"In the wake of a second officer-related shooting in less than a month, the Oglala Sioux Tribe police chief said little this week about the incident.

Everett Little Whiteman told the Rapid City Journal one person was dead in a shooting Wednesday morning in Allen, S.D. He said little else, citing the ongoing investigation.

I have the greatest respect for the work tribal police do on sprawling reservations like the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where officers are called upon hourly to race to distant, nearly inaccessible locations to enforce constant violations of the tribe's prohibition on alcohol.

Having spent many hours riding along with those officers, I know they receive little to no support from the public for the dangerous, exhausting work they do. Rather, they are seen as the enemy by families ripped apart by alcoholism and violence.

That's why I don't relish saying the Oglala tribal police need to be more upfront about the details of the Wednesday shooting in Allen. The shooting, which involved a tribal police officer, comes barely three weeks after a tribal officer shot and critically wounded a man in Pine Ridge.

In that shooting, the officer seemed justified in shooting the man, who allegedly had assaulted the officer.

I have every confidence the same is true in this latest shooting."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Oglala Police Need to Speak About Shooting (RezNet News 7/30)

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