Saturday, November 19, 2016

South Dakota law enforcement industry thrives on racism

Administrators from the Rapid City, Pennington County and state Highway Patrol law enforcement industry converged on Rapid City in the latest round of talks designed to address racism in South Dakota.
Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris admitted that historic injustices still weigh on perceptions in the community. Chief Deputy Pennington County Sheriff Willy Whelchel agreed. "We do have a divide," he said. [KOTA teevee]
According to Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, Vaughn Vargas, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member and the Rapid City Police Department Community Advisory Coordinator, said law enforcement must be the first to set a good example.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, said the forum turned into a discussion about how great South Dakota police departments are at enforcing the law and didn’t include nearly enough input from South Dakota's American Indian community.

Racism is endemic in South Dakota, especially in reservation border towns like Rapid City. In 2011 South Dakota's 7th Judicial Circuit Court Judge A.P. (Pete) Fuller was removed after reminding residents that RCPD is made up of "a bunch of racists."

Pennington County's behavior has been called shocking. The state seizes about 750 American Indian kids every year reaping nearly a billion federal dollars since the Indian Child Welfare Act was signed into law. This interested party has direct knowledge of abuses visited upon families by employees of the state from 1994 to 2000 and is all too close to this story. Mike Monahan helped. Here's his phone number: (605) 722-3957.

On the public dole Pennington County sent deputies and the State of South Dakota sent state troopers to beat up water protectors standing up at Standing Rock. How that translates to trust and civility between Whitey and tribal members remains a mystery.

Public broadcasting in South Dakota serves at the pleasure of the state's earth hater legislature and like every other media outlet in that chemical toilet it's a mouthpiece for the South Dakota Republican Party.

Cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and even occasionally murder their wives.

If South Dakota was serious about truth and reconciliation it would stand down, shut up and take the punishment it deserves.

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