Thursday, August 28, 2014

Former officer charged for repeatedly tasering helpless Lakota man


Pierre, SD (KELO AM) - United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a former Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the constitutional rights of a man in her custody by repeatedly using her Taser on him without justification.
Rebecca M. Sotherland, a/k/a Becky Sotherland and Becki Sotherland, age 32, was indicted on August 26, 2014, for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on August 15, 2014, Sotherland, while acting under color of law, repeatedly deployed a Taser on the victim causing bodily injury to the victim. The alleged offense took place in Manderson, South Dakota.
The charges are merely accusations and Sotherland is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Collins and Kevin Koliner are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Jared Fishman, with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Previous article at Indigenous Resistance: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oglala Sioux Police tasers helpless Lakota man 10 to 20 times

Caught on video

Oglala police officer, non-Indian, repeatedly tasers helpless Lakota man

Update: Officer fired who repeatedly tasered a Lakota man who was passed out "to wake him up"

By Brenda Norrell
Indigenous Resistance

MANDERSON, Pine Ridge, South Dakota -- Oglala Sioux police officer Becky Sotherland, non-Indian, tasered a helpless Lakota man on the ground 10 to 20 times. The abuse was caught on video.
Officer Sotherland claimed she was trying to wake the man up by repeatedly tasering him.
The Lakota man, 32, from Manderson, survived this police attack. However, more than 540 people have died as a result of being tasered.
The repeated tasering by this officer also magnifies the problem with poorly-trained, non-Indian police officers on Indian lands. 
While some non-Indian officers on Indian lands are poorly-trained, or simply lacking in common sense, others are racist and mean, repeatedly carrying out excessive force.
According to MSNBC in a previous article, Sotherland is white and not a tribal member.
    Sotherland, 32, is somewhat of an oddity on the force and the reservation. Unlike most of       her colleagues, she’s not a member of the tribe. She’s a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, former       hair salon-owner, former city coroner who describes herself as a “white mutt.”
The video of the tasering attack is available on Facebook. It has been shared 4,511 times since the police attack occurred on Friday.
The Rapid City Journal, known for its bordertown journalism, failed in its coverage of this crucial incident. 
The Rapid City Journal says the man was tasered "several times" by the officer.
Last Real Indians, however, shared Sis Cliff's video of the incident on Facebook, and said the man was actually tasered 10 to 20 times. 
Watch the video and listen. It is not several.
Further, the Rapid City Journal goes from bad to worse with its coverage of this police abuse. The Journal continues the typical media response of covering up for police abuse with a second story on the officer's "good record."
Rapid City Journal: Poor journalism and worse:
Tasered 'several times'
Officer's 'good record'

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