Oglala Sioux Tribe sues feds over inadequate law enforcement in Pine Ridge – Reuters

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The Oglala Sioux Tribe is suing the federal government for failing to provide adequate law enforcement on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Sunday, July 31, 2022, 8:42 a.m. MDT

Updated:

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is suing the federal government for failing to provide adequate law enforcement on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The lawsuit filed this week against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and some senior Home Office officials alleges the failure created a “public safety crisis” on the reservation.

Tribal officials say Pine Ridge, with its 3 million acres of land, has just 33 police officers and eight criminal investigators who handled more than 133,700 emergency calls last year. And, that there were six to eight officers on any given shift.

The complaint uses Rapid City as a comparison to its 176 police officers who handled nearly 115,000 emergency calls in 2021, Chief Argus reported.

The tribe said the BIA did not meet its standards of having 2.8 officers per 1,000 residents. For Pine Ridge, this would require at least 140 tribal officers.

Court documents say officers are working an average of 80 overtime hours on top of their scheduled 160 hours and not having adequate support when needed for emergency calls.

The tribe seeks an injunction that the federal government equip a minimum of 140 law enforcement officers on the reservation and a declaratory judgment declaring that the federal government violated its responsibilities to provide adequate law enforcement, according to the lawsuit. .

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