South Dakota Corrections Officer Fired for Calling American Indians “Prairie (Slur)”

Published December 19, 2018

STURGIS, S.D.  — Grant Messner, a Meade County corrections officer in Western South Dakota, was fired on Monday after posting a racist comment on Facebook about American Indians.

He wrote, “”How about this let’s get rid of the Lakota Nation Invitational y’all prairie (slur) can’t get along it happens every year,” on Facebook.

Established in 1976 because in the wake of takeover of Wounded Knee in 1973, non-Native teams did not want to play basketball with American Indian teams, the 2018 Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) took place this past weekend in Rapid City, South Dakota.  The event brings thousands of American Indians to Rapid City each December for sports and other cultural events. In terms of the people the event draws and economic impact to Rapid City, the LNI is one of the city’s largest events. It draws some 8,000 people to the Rapid City Civic Plaza annually. Some economists suggest the impact to the city is between $5 million – $6 million annually.

Sgt. Caleb Deyo of the Meade County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday that Messner was fired “as a result” of the “inappropriate comment.”


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