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'It's Just That Simple' | Oglala Sioux Tribe Chief of Police Chief Urges Lawmakers to Increase Funding for Tribal Public Safety

The acting chief of police for the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Department of Public Safety, John Pettigrew, told lawmakers on Tuesday, May 9, about the harsh realities of maintaining law and order on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota with a gross lack of funding.

During a hearing on the needs of Indian Country, Pettigrew told members of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies he would leave behind an audio recording of a 911 call from the reservation that was too graphic to play publicly.

On the tape, the OST 911 officers hear a young mother being beaten by multiple men for more than an hour. Her arm, skull, ribs and leg were broken. She sustained several contusions, all of which required multiple medical procedures performed at an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility.


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