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Native Sun News: Police officer uses Taser on Rosebud Sioux girl

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

Pierre police Taser Rosebud child
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

PIERRE—An 8 year old member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe was subdued by a police Taser in Pierre after officers responded to a report of the child being suicidal.

The child, who was under the care of a baby sitter at the time of the incident, was holding a 4 inch knife that responding officers reported was being held to her chest.

In statements made to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Pierre Police Chief Bob Grandpre, said that once the officers arrived on the scene the child was approached by the officer and turned the knife towards the officer, when the officer stopped she placed the knife back at her chest. It was then that the officer fired the Taser at the child. The prongs from the Taser hit the 8 year old in the chest and stomach. The devices are designed to give police a non-lethal alternative to firearms and send a shock through the bodies of those they are deployed on high enough to disable any possible threat that may be present.

A family member who spent time with the child in the days after the incident told Native Sun News that the child had told them that the blast from the Taser sent her child in to the wall where it knocked her out.

“She said that she didn’t remember anything after that,” said the family member.

The family member who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the family was concerned about speaking with the media out of fear that the state of South Dakota would begin taking steps to place blame on the family for the incident instead of on the officer who the family feels used excessive force.

Since the incident the state has sent a family protection team to visit with the father Bobby Jones and as a result the family member said that they are now being “extremely cautious with what information they give out.”

The child was in extreme pain the night of the incident and has according to the family member begun having panic attacks and difficulties breathing ever since she was tasered. In some cases the use of the devices has led to cardiac arrest and a variety of other heart conditions amongst those who were hit by them.

The South Dakota Attorney General’s office is looking in to the incident.

“We always do interviews on use of lethal force but this is a little out of the ordinary because it was non-lethal but we have been asked to look in to the incident and give the report back to the Pierre police department so they can review their policy,” said Sara Rabern a spokesperson for the South Dakota Attorney General’s office.

Rabern also denied reports that Attorney General Jackley had contacted the father of the child personally.

Pierre police chief, Bob Grandpre in statements to the Argus Leader defended the actions of the officer saying “He quite possibly saved the juvenile’s life that night.”

Grandpre did not return calls to Native Sun News and the family is demanding that the officer be disciplined for use of excessive force.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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