Albert Bender: A travesty of justice in attack on Indian children

Albert Bender. Photo from U. S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

Albert Bender criticizes authorities in Rapid City, South Dakota, for filing just one misdemeanor charge in connection with an attack on 57 Indian children at a hockey game:
I am an attorney with abundant experience as a tribal public defender and also in mainstream venues. On Feb. 17, I called the Rapid City Police Department to inquire about the case. I was told by Communications Officer Brendyn Medina that over 100 interviews had been conducted, and that detectives had "put in a lot of hours on the case." The latest press release said over 170 people had been interviewed, involving 550 hours of personnel time. This may sound good, but I suggest it is really a sleight of hand. The prosecutor and the police department seem to be attempting to confuse the case: Were 170 interviews really necessary?

The Rapid City Police already had the complaints of the alleged victims. It appears that the police department was not looking for statements to support the allegations of the victims, but just the opposite. How many more interviews were needed to bring charges of child abuse, hate crimes and assault?

Was the Rapid City Police Department in fact doing the job of the defense of the assailant(s), by trying to shift the weight of the testimonial evidence in their favor? A similar tactic was used in the case of the shooting of the young black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., with the result being the exoneration of the accused police officer.

Authorities in this case have moved at a slow pace: The police knew from the outset the identities of the alleged assailants and after weeks of investigation came forth with only one culprit. Where are his partners in this crime?

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Albert Bender: S. Dakota authorities pull a fast one on hockey game attack (People's World 3/2)

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