Pine Ridge man, 70, claims tribal officers assaulted him

By Carson Walker
Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) 9-07

A 70-year-old American Indian man claims tribal law enforcement officers on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation wrongfully roughed him up and arrested him, according to a lawsuit he filed in federal court.

Frank Sioux Bob of Pine Ridge said in the civil complaint that between 11 p.m. and midnight on July 21, 2005, he was at home with his grandchildren when officers entered the house and indicated they were responding to a call about a gun.

There was no weapon in the house, no one in the place had made such a report and the officers entered without a warrant or consent, the lawsuit states.

The six or more officers bullied Sioux Bob, broke down a bedroom door, twisted his arm and assaulted him, even though he told them he was not well and had a bad shoulder and knee, it states.

“They continued to twist his arm behind his back, slammed him against the wall, cut his head, broke his glasses, threw him on the floor, and poked him in the back,” the complaint states.

As a result, Sioux Bob claims in the lawsuit that he suffered temporary and permanent damage, including physical and psychological injury, medical bills, damage to his property, and it aggravated previous physical conditions.

The officers were employed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Public Safety Commission, so the defendant in the case is the United States government.

In March 2006, Sioux Bob filed a claim for a $350,000 settlement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs but no action has been taken, so he took the case to court to seek damages.

Sioux Bob’s lawyer, Terry Pechota, did not want to comment for the story and U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley is prohibited from discussing pending litigation.