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Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president arrested in Whiteclay

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Oglala Sioux President Bryan Brewer confronts Nebraska Law Enforcement just prior to being arrested.

President Brewer arrested
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

WHITE CLAY, NE—Oglala Sioux tribal President Bryan Brewer was arrested in Whiteclay, NE by a Sheridan County law enforcement official while walking through the border town on Monday. The arrest was carried out as a result of a warrant that was issued for Brewer due to a bad check he had written in February of 2012.

“Yes, I was arrested but the real focus needs to be on the effects of alcohol on our people, on our families, and on our reservation,” said President Brewer. “With this pending referendum vote on the legalization of alcohol, we as Oglalas need to take a hard look at what alcohol has done and is doing to our community. We need to really think about what our communities will be like if alcohol is legalized on this reservation,” he added

The charge is a class 2 misdemeanor in the state and carries the maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a $1 thousand fine.

After being taken to Rushville, NE he made good on the $191 check and paid a $10 fine, Brewer, was released and was back in White Clay by 1p.m. less than four hours later. The warrant was settled and no further proceedings or court dates are expected.

“The arrest does not deter me from continuing protesting in Whiteclay, why should I stop? Alcohol doesn't stop,” said Brewer.

At the time of the arrest Brewer had been patrolling the town of Whiteclay in support of tribal members who had been protesting the sale of alcohol in the highly controversial border town. The town of Whiteclay sold the equivalent of 3.9 million cans of beer last year alone, despite only having 14 residents. The border town sits adjacent to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that currently has a prohibition on the sale of alcohol.

A video of the incident has been circulated on showing President Brewer defiantly telling law enforcement officials that alcohol would not be delivered to the bars in Whiteclay.

“Any other day but today,” Brewer said on the video in regards to Monday’s expected deliveries.

“My arrest only helps bring to light these issues and helps all of us Oglalas to begin talking about the referendum vote, effects of alcohol and what we really want for our people."

When asked why he had been in Whiteclay, Brewer said that it was to protect the rights of tribal members.

“Our people who are protesting have a right to stand up and have their voices heard,” said Brewer. “I was there to assure that they are allowed to do this,” he added.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Statement from Oglala Sioux Tribe president (6/18)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president arrested in Whiteclay (6/17)

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