You are amazing….! Revisited Oct 21, 2016 Resulting Legacy of continuing murders of Tetons & their children/Due to Lack of FEDERAL Funding/Resources!

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Young Pine Ridge man shot and killed in broad daylight

Several unidentified assailants remain at large after shooting and killing a young Pine Ridge man who authorities say was murdered in broad daylight on Sunday in the parking lot of a youth center.

The attackers killed Vinnie Brewer around 2 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the SuAnne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Tribal authorities confirmed Brewer’s identity and time of death to the Journal on Tuesday.

Reacting to the killing and the overall rising level of violence on the reservation, tribal authorities are promising a stronger police presence on the streets and in schools, and are seeking more autonomy in how they investigate murders and serious drug offenses.

Police are also hoping that by the end of the week they will have created an anonymous hotline for anyone with information about Brewer’s murder and other criminal activities on the reservation to call and leave tips.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Councilman CJ Clifford said he is related to Brewer.

“I know people are concerned for their lives at this point in time,” Clifford said by phone Tuesday. “We need a way to protect ourselves because we know we have a shortfall with law enforcement. It’s nobody’s fault here at the tribe; it’s a lack of funding from the federal government. The resources that are being sent are very minimal.”

On Tuesday morning, acting OST Police Chief Mark Mesteth appeared in a press conference along with OST President John Yellow Bird Steele and tribal Attorney General Tatewin Means to address growing safety concerns on the reservation.

Mesteth said one of the biggest challenges his department faces is a lack of adequate personnel. The OST Tribal Police Department now employs 27 patrol officers and two investigators. There are 11 vacancies on the department, Mesteth said, adding that it can take anywhere between six to nine months to fill a single position.

“Several years ago, based off our population and our crime rate, the (Bureau of Indian Affairs) said we should have 150 to 170 police officers,” Mesteth said. “We’re not funded for those levels. Being the second-largest tribe in the United States, we need more officers, we need more funding.”

Another challenge Mesteth said investigators face on the reservation is a lack of cooperation from tribal residents.

“We need our citizens to cooperate with the BIA Criminal Investigations Division and just open up and tell them what they know,” Mesteth said. “And that’s not happening.”

Brewer’s killing is the latest in a string of recent murders. In August, Todd Little Bull was shot and killed in Pine Ridge. Earlier this month, an unidentified woman was fatally shot; 13-year-old Te’ca Clifford was killed while walking on a street in July.

Those and several other violent incidents, including Brewer’s murder, remain under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the BIA.

But Attorney General Means is hoping to change how murders are investigated and prosecuted on the reservation.

“We’re seeing years and years go by before we’re seeing any federal prosecutions, and we’re seeing the result of that,” Means said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I just want to reassure people out there that tribal prosecutions, arrests and adjudications are priority now. We’re done waiting for the feds to get involved and take action against some of these drug dealers and drug offenses.”

Steele said he believed all of the recent murders in Pine Ridge were related to drugs, but would not elaborate.

“This incident that happened is not just one incident,” Steele said. “A person really sits down, he can connect the dots. And it’s several incidences of our tribal members being murdered. And it’s all related to drugs.”

Means said she has asked 10 additional BIA officers to come to the reservation to assist with patrols on a temporary basis. Mesteth said his department is looking to add an additional 20 officers to the force, most of whom he plans to station in the reservation’s schools. The police chief would also like to set up a drug task force within the OST police department so drug-related crimes can be investigated locally instead of having to rely on federal interventions.

Steele hinted that one operating theory is that many of the killings in Pine Ridge have been committed by outsiders. Means said she supported the idea of setting up checkpoints to document who comes and goes from the reservation.

Means added she is also contemplating seeking help from outside law enforcement agencies in communities surrounding the reservation to help bolster the ranks of the tribal police department.

(18) comments

Crazy PedroOct 20, 2016 4:44pm

My prayers are with Pine Ridge. I pray that we all find our way to a better day. That we choose words encouragement and support. Love will bring us together, we are ONE. Fighting amongst ourselves is helping no one. We must lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.


evanescent7077Oct 20, 2016 1:03pm

For those of you who want to complain about banishment; why don’t you work on cleaning up your own community, family member or friend, so it doesn’t come to banishment. Why should the rest of the community members suffer because there are people who want to protect addicts or criminal behavior? Why should the children suffer? Take some responsibility and put the responsibility where it belongs, on the person causing problems. All I hear is people need money, money, money, well there is something called work, maybe people need to start trying it instead of relying on a government that can barely keep itself together. Even in the old days, all able bodied people had to work to survive. Even in the old days, there were consequences for bad behavior, including banishment.

There has to be consequences for people who are committing crimes, or causing disruptions because of their own selfish needs or desires, instead of putting the people first. For too long now, every one has been putting up with this cycle of violence. Enough is enough. If each person would get their own life together, like it should be, the entire community will benefit. It isn’t the fault of anyone else that someone became addicted to something; It’s the fault of the selfish person doing it. Stop blaming everyone else for it. This is what is causing the problem, no one is holding the responsible person accountable for their own destructive behavior.

And for those of you who can’t understand law enforcement and lack of it on the reservation, look at Congress, the U.S. government, Supreme Court decisions. Start with Ex parte Crow Dog 1883 and the Major Crimes Act of 1885.

educated LakotaOct 20, 2016 11:48am

Whether or not any council representative is related to the victim is a moot point . Talk about hypocrisy. Banishment is a joke. Who is going to want officers to waste time, energy, resources to escort tribal members off the reservation? Meth is a common war the nation is contending with….it is NOT new. Council is too busy meddling attempting to rid the Chief of Police to pass reasonable laws and penalties. Exclusion? SMH. Expect NO change since the ballots have names of recycled idiots or people who possess idiot degrees who have no clue what their duties entail. This is an insult by this rep stating he is related. What does that have to do with anything? You maybe a rep BUT you represent the people! Not just your district. Not just your relatives. Not just your interest groups. Waste money on extensive traveling accomplishing only that YOU support. Get off your high horse and check yourself.

Frank W Smith

Frank W SmithOct 20, 2016 9:06am

Sad situation for all involved!

Mahpiya SkaOct 20, 2016 6:20am

Sad series of events that has many tribal people concerned. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. We will get thru this and rise above the emotional turmoil because we are resilient people. Bleheciya po!

SpunkyMunkOct 19, 2016 7:38pm

Let’s blame the federal government instead of blaming the murderers. Let’s blame Chevy or Ford for making the cars the murderers drove to the scenes. Or why not blame the great spirits? I’m sure the spirits had something to do with it too. Let’s blame everyone except the ones that raised the murders.

BTW I doubt that checkpoints outside a reservation documenting who is coming and going is constitutional.

unicorn21Oct 19, 2016 3:36pm

hope whoever did this gets caught and this is not just forgotten . Has anyone ever been arrested for the Todd Little Bull murder?

7th SunOct 19, 2016 2:35pm

As long as the corruption within the hierarchy of the tribal government continues not much will change, it will likely continue to worsen. If they want more safety, jobs and better lives then stop pretending to be a sovereign nation. Let the federal authority manage the finances, hire the tribal employees based on qualifications not who you’re related to or what race you are and allow state authorities to train and supervise those employees. The chaos we see on the Reservation now is the end result of the collapse of the morals, values and especially the family unit but then that is evident everywhere not just on the Rez.

Roger CorneliusOct 19, 2016 5:10pm

The same thing applies to South Dakota state government. How many millions of dollars have stolen or misspent under republican rule?


Glock10mmOct 20, 2016 8:06am

Says the guy who didn’t notice when Obama spent America into more debt than all other presidents … combined. Give it a break, Rog, no one’s buying your snake oil.


rockycherryOct 19, 2016 11:17am

In regards to the lack of funding, these are obligations assumed by the federal government through trustvand treaty law, but not met by the US, part of the reason the reservation counties in SD are the poorest counties in America.

rezcatOct 19, 2016 9:24am

Sending prayers to the families…^ ~ ~,^

dpmt10Oct 19, 2016 9:24am

If they are sovereign, why don’t they institute a tax on its citizens to pay for additional police instead of asking the feds to pay for it? Sovereign means you do it yourself.

Roger CorneliusOct 19, 2016 1:59pm

Reservation residents already pay federal income tax and South Dakota sales tax.

HoudydutyOct 19, 2016 8:14am

My question is every time you turn around this tribe says oh we’re a sovereign nation but yet they are sitting there whining about how the federal government the United States federal government is not paying them. Boo who if you want to be a sovereign nation quit your whining about the federal government.

Roger CorneliusOct 19, 2016 2:02pm

The federal government not only has treaty obligations to the tribe, but under the Indian Reorganization Act they have other obligations, including law and order, investigations and prosecutions.

thatsrightOct 19, 2016 8:10am

If there are 11 vacancies for the force why are they blaming the feds for no funding. Sounds like officers dont want to work public safety.

RickdmOct 19, 2016 7:59am

I feel sorry for the victims on the reservation but get disgusted when one time outside law officers are not allowed in to arrest a criminal and then the next time they are wanted to come in and help.

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About Looking Back Woman-Suzanne Dupree

Tetuwan Lakota scholar, educator, historian, Sun Dance participant, Cannunpa carrier, cultural & spiritual preservationist, journalist-writer and fraud investigator.
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