Rapid City American Indian Shooting Victim Identified; Police Say Race Not a Factor

Allen Locke, 30, was killed by Rapid City police officer Saturday evening who fired up to five shots

Allen Locke, 30, was killed by Rapid City police officer Saturday evening who fired up to five shots

Family issues statement and seeks meeting with city officials Monday

RAPID CITY — Allen Locke, a 30-year-old American Indian man, attended the #NativeLivesMatter march and rally Friday afternoon, which sought to bring awareness to police brutality towards American Indians, in downtown Rapid City.

Just over 24 hours later, he lay dead as a result of multiple bullets from a Rapid City police officer’s revolver.

Locke’s identity was revealed Sunday at the Rapid City Police Headquarters as a police spokesperson Captain Dan Rude recounted the incident to reporters. The name of the police officer was also disclosed. He is Officer Anthony Meirose, who joined the Rapid City Police Department in July 2013.

Officer Meirose responded to a call to have an unwanted person removed from a residence at the Lakota Community Homes, a sub-division in northern Rapid City.

Upon arrival, Locke “charged” Officer Meirose with a knife, according to the police account of what occurred. Officer Meirose fired up to five shots. Locke was pronounced at a local Rapid City hospital.

Officer Meirose and the occupants of the home were not injured.

Captain Rude was quick to discount race being a factor in the fatal shooting.

“The officer is white. The suspect is Native American. But, this is not a race deal. It is based on criminal behavior. If the police officer was Native American and the suspect was white, the result would have been the same thing. It has nothing to do with race; it is all about criminal behavior,” commented Rude.

Rapid City police officers do not wear body cameras.

Officer Meirose has been put on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Locke’s family issued the following statement on Sunday:

In light of the recent tragic events that have transpired at Lakota Homes and that have claimed the life of our son, brother, father, partner, grandson, uncle and loved one, we feel it imperative to issue a public statement asking the Rapid City and Native community at-large to bear with us as we grieve our loss and make arrangements for our loved one.

We genuinely appreciate the prayer vigils and ceremony circles that are being organized in Allen’s memory; this is a crucial time for our family as Allen is making his spirit journey.

We feel the community’s hurt; we know you are angry, we know you are sad and we know everyone is on edge as a result of Allen’s violent death coming off the heals of his participation in the #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally and March a day before this horrific incident. There are many details that we will share in time but we are trying very hard to hold it together and to be strong and peaceful in order to send our loved one off and to give our children an appropriate holiday’s memory.

We ask that everyone respect the families privacy at this time. There are critical issues currently pending including an autopsy, internal investigation, a meeting with the Mayor and Rapid City Police Chief and a prayer gathering outside the mayor’s office during that meeting at 10am MST, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014.

Allen was many things to many people and he would want us to remain peaceful and prayerful during this most trying time for our family. Again, we sincerely appreciate all the love, feelings, prayers and energy that you are sending our way. This makes the difference and it is our hope that we can end this violence against our Native people here in Rapid City. Allen was a Sun Dancer and we want all prayer families, medicine men, spiritual leaders and sundancers to come and pray for our family and to keep Allen and his loved ones in your prayers.

 

 

 

 

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