2012-05-22 22:35:03

Native Americans Protest Alleged Hate Crime in S. Dakota



Nearly 700 protestors from Native communities across the United States, and members of the American Indian Movement met in Rapid City, South Dakota the morning of May 21 to march in support of Vernon Traversie, a Cheyenne River tribal member.

Traversie, a blind, 68 year old, who underwent double bypass heart surgery at Rapid City Regional Hospital (RCRH) on August 26, 2011, was left with a bizarre pattern of wounds on his abdomen, well below and on the lower left and right sides of his surgical wound.

Those who have personally seen the wounds describe them as horrific – claiming they resemble deep burns in the shape of three ‘K’s.’ According to Cheyenne River tribal member Cody Hall, a friend of Traversie’s, the wounds resemble brandings.

“This looks like a hate crime,” Hall, who organized the rally, said in a phone interview with Indian Country Today Media Network. Hall said the point of the rally was to raise awareness of the many incidences of underlying racism against Native people that have occurred in Rapid City over the years. The group also wants to support Traversie in his struggle to deal with this recent incidence.

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