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Chief Jegeris Approves Indian Protest Two Hours Earlier for More Sunshine

Oh, fuss and feathers! We got all hot and bothered here on the blog about the Rapid City Police Department's denial of a permit to American Indian activists who want to stage a protest against police brutality during the Lakota Nation Invitational. But Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris was serious when he said he was working with organizers to accommodate their First Amendment rights. The protest is on for this afternoon!

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris has authorized a special event permit for this march and rally from 1 to 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19, in Memorial Park, Legacy Commons and the Promenade.

“I am thankful that we came to an agreement to address the public safety concerns,” Jegeris said.

The Rapid City Police Department will be present during the event to ensure the public safety of all residents and visitors ["Rapid City Police Chief Approves Protest Rally for Friday," KOTA-TV, 2014.12.18].

Kevin Woster explains that a big part of Chief Jegeris's initial rejection of the permit was timing:

Protesters had wanted to have the protest rally and March from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. They would have marched from the east parking lot of the civic center south a few blocks to Main Street, then west on Main for three blocks to Mount Rushmore. From there they were to march back to the west parking lot of the civic center.

Those are some of the busiest streets in Rapid City, especially when there’s an event at the civic center and Rapid City Central – just across the street – is releasing students for the day.

Add in approaching darkness and the protest plan was an unacceptable danger to LNI attendee, Central students, the general public and protesters and the police, Jegeris said.

“The time frame would be just about dark and getting dark,” he said. “And there’s just so many safety considerations that I just have to put safety first” [Kevin Woster, "RC Chief Approves Permit After Initial Rejection,", 2014.12.18].

See? Chief Jegeris is no brute; he's actually helping the protesters shine more daylight on their message.

So Larry, still want to move LNI out of Rapid City?


  1. Nick Nemec 2014.12.19

    I'm glad they worked this out. It's too bad the Chief Jegeris didn't express his concerns and come to this compromise from the beginning, he could have avoided several days of bad publicity for himself and the city.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.12.19

    Special event permit-cue whitey wingnuts angst about how minorities want and get "special" rights.

    Seems to me the best and most assured way to have an event turn violent is to deny that event because of fears of violence. Be careful what you ask for. Some people in most crowds don't need excuses to turn violent. They just need approximate anonymity and opportunity.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.19

    Well, the Chief did say in his original denial press release that he wanted to work with the organizers further, and he followed through with that statement. But I wonder whether the Chief could have negotiated at the start and amended the permit app right away to the current amenable terms. Were organizers ready to have that conversation on Monday?

  4. Dustina 2014.12.19

    Such demonstrations are going on nationwide and the second only similar protest in SD gets denied without stating (the now stated) concerns would get the expected reaction it did. It's all about communication. I'm glad the police chief did explain such reasons and approved the permit.

  5. Nick Nemec 2014.12.19

    Had he talked to organizers in private and off the record from the beginning I'll bet all the bad press could have been avoided. The initial refusal confirmed many peoples worst fears of the city's attitude toward Natives.

  6. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    I sent my post to @rcgov Cory: maybe it worked.

  7. Loren 2014.12.19

    Too late! What if? Maybe if...! Do the police have to be so militaristic? Why didn't the police do more? On and on.

    Geez, you folks really seem to spout off about anything while knowing very little. Anyone really know the Chief or spent any time around the department or do ya'll just prefer to criticize?

  8. jerry 2014.12.19

    That is why you are here Loren, to educate the unwashed masses. Pray tell, what do you know about all of this?

  9. Loren 2014.12.19

    Well, Jer, in retirement have worked with the PD for about 8 yrs, usually 8-10 hrs a week +/-. I know a lot of the folks and I know they try to hire the best candidates available. I have seen some resign and some fired. Not all are suited for the job. I have watched the Chief advance thru the ranks and it is because he is a good man. I'll spare you 8 yrs of details, but I do think I have a bit of an insight relative to some. Anyone want to talk about the community projects, neighborhood clean-ups, public demonstrations, school interaction,..., or do ya'll just want to talk about bias, brutality, etc?

  10. Loren 2014.12.19

    Larry, I didn't see the skit, but I agree it is in very poor taste. I didn't much care for the Obama rodeo skit either. Racism in the US is NOT dead, agreed! Now, I'm not sure the local PD had little to do with entertainment at the rodeo and would have preferred NOT being cast in that light, either. As far as the article, I wouldn't use Tiger as an example of "boiling point". Much more to that! But, if you are having a good time, Lar, keep on stirring!

  11. Loren 2014.12.19

    Actually, I meant to say, "... I AM sure the local PD had little to do..." Sorry!

  12. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    Daniel Tiger wasn't going to be shot down in cold blood like Christopher Capps had been: he chose to take the enemy down with him.

  13. Loren 2014.12.19

    The "enemy"???? Now your bias is showing, Kurtz, and it's UGLY!

  14. Daniel Buresh 2014.12.19

    Loren....Larry is psychotic and has the same brain malfunction as the scumbag he supports. Don't feed the troll.

  15. Loren 2014.12.19

    Thanx, Dan! :-)

  16. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    Rapid City is nothing the Yellowstone supervolcano won't fix.

  17. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief you have the power to stop the slaughter of children by Ellsworth bombers and drones: shut it down, Sir.

  18. leslie 2014.12.19

    what sort of gun control would you recommend to have protected those officers, Daniel?

  19. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    American Indian activists have just forced Ralph Lauren to abandon a line of clothing that appropriated their cultures for profit: a boycott of Rapid City could send a powerful message.

  20. jerry 2014.12.19

    So Loren, you are much just like most of us then, you are not really a policeman, just a kind of public servant that gets paid to have the donuts with the gang there. As you are really just an outsider with limited knowledge of the goings on, you have an opinion like the rest of us. Is that not correct??

  21. Taunia 2014.12.19

    Hurray! A gift to the unwashed masses from the overseers.

    You have been given permission to exercise your constitutionally-protected civil rights to peacefully assemble.

    For FREE!

    How awesome is that?!

  22. Loren 2014.12.19

    Jer, you have no idea. I don't get paid, I volunteer. I have spent 8 years associated with the folks in blue. The guys that got shot were personal friends. I have participated in briefings, exercises, training, etc, with the department. Am I an expert? No! Are you qualified to make better observations? What ever!

  23. jerry 2014.12.19

    Bless your heart Loren for being a volunteer. Why are you taking a job from someone who may need the employment? You do realize that your being there for all of those years doing the odd little jobs that you do there, could be done by a real public servant that may have a family.

    What is the most interesting is that you go to briefings. I am sure in those briefings intimate details of people's lives are shared around the table, of course, you must have some kind of security clearance to hear and see all of that, correct? I find it hard to think of some dude off the street being privy to very private information. I do not claim to be an expert in anything sir, I merely asked you to support your claims of this:

    "Geez, you folks really seem to spout off about anything while knowing very little. Anyone really know the Chief or spent any time around the department or do ya'll just prefer to criticize?"

    So far, you have just shown that you are like the rest of us, not qualified to make better observations. That does not change the problems that have been put on the table on this blog. Those are racism and police brutality. With these two items, we are clear that there is a huge problem with the local police that does not seem to be getting anywhere near solved. This change of heart by the Chief, is a small step in the right direction, but in the end, it may have been the threat of moving a multi-million dollar event from the city limits that brought the turn around to allow the march to happen.

  24. Loren 2014.12.19

    Gee, Jer, I'll just have another doughnut and let you tell us all about how you know so much about the local racism and brutality. You use my quote. Well, have you spent any time around the department or know any of the folks? Continue on...

  25. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.19

    In the past, LNI organizers have threatened to move LNI out of Rapid City because of poor race relations with the police and the public, enough so that the mayor and other city officials traveled to Pine Ridge to discuss these issues with tourney organizers and the tribe.
    There is not a doubt in my mind that the Chief of Police's change of heart was led by the economic contributions made to Rapid City during LNI.
    With an open mind, I have witnessed police harassment and brutality toward Natives, I have also seen officers go out of their way to assist Natives in distress.
    It is frustrating to see Rapid City come such a long way in race relations and yet at the same time have a long way to go, if that makes any sense.

  26. JeniW 2014.12.19

    Roger, since things suck that much, why not just pull the LNI out of Rapid City?

    Are there not other locations that would serve the LNI better, and not be abusive?

  27. jerry 2014.12.19

    Tell you what Loren, why don't you tell us what you know. You have been to the briefings that I have not been to. You are the expert, so I will yield the floor to you. Tell us what you know personally from all of the briefings you have been to, I want details for sure. If they were speaking of a person or persons by their names, addresses and other information, it would be so cool to hear that from a non member of the Rapid City police force. How many other joe's off the street get to participate like you do? Sounds like fun, when I am around, I will bring the donuts.

  28. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    JeniW, not really. Not without moving out of "the homeland." One of the reasons the RC Civic Center is discussing expansion of the arena is to better accommodate LNI. I don't think there is any space in the Lakota area large enough... the event would have to downsize wouldn't it Roger?

  29. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.19

    JeniW. and Bill,
    I'm not advocating moving LNI out of Rapid City, simply pointing out that there are economic benefits to the city and the city fathers know it and now the Chief Police knows it.
    In fact, moving LNI elsewhere in the state is a bad idea, as Bill points out there are only a few cities that could accommodate it coupled with the fact most participants are from west river as well as the sponsors.
    The other reason for not moving LNI is less obvious, you don't run from racism, you confront it. That is the only way to bring about eventual change. In the early days of LNI there motels and restaurants that refused or didn't want to accommodate LNI participants, now their billboards say "Welcome LNI Players", a small change, but a change none the less.
    Sometimes forced change is necessary, the city fathers recognized the economic windfall for the city and the Chamber of Commerce helped vendors see the light.

  30. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    Smart stuff, Roger. I was thinking about some of that, but wouldn't have written it out nearly as well, nor with as much existential authority as you did. Thank you!

  31. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    Hot Springs could host LNI as well as Spearfish could: good jolt for either town, too.

  32. Loren 2014.12.19

    Roger, thanks for your well reasoned comments. Yes, racism exists and we should confront and not tolerate such behavior. Whatever the reason, the two sides were able to come together and the march was accommodated. Let's hope that is an indication we can all work together. It truly does take understanding on both sides. Here is to better days ahead!

  33. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    Well, Spearfish maybe, with some major infrastructure development, but I don't know about Hot Springs. It would indeed be good for the town, but I doubt if the community at large is ready for it. (I was born in HS and still visit there frequently. ) Here's an overview of the issues from a well known black man's perspective. I post it here because I don't think the Lakota's situation is all that dissimilar, and in many ways it's even more culturally profound. Roger's comment reminded me of it.

  34. larry kurtz 2014.12.19

    Hot Springs handles Rally traffic with aplomb and the teams could rotate among the b-ball courts in town. Mueller Center have courts?

  35. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    Not our call of course, Larry. I'm down with Roger's idea. Face the issue on the largest possible front. Rapid City is the hub of the Black Hills community. If he and his peeps see it as the best place to make change, I'm all for it. Kinda like New York. "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."

  36. jerry 2014.12.19

    Rapid City is the hub alright, but Spearfish has the college with all of its opportunities for young students to take a look at for future education as well as sports endeavors. Moving to Spearfish would not be running from anything, on the contrary, it would be for better development of the students themselves, to give them more enrichment. Is that not what the LNI is supposed to stand for? The Northern Hills area has a lot to offer with plenty of rooms and availability as well. Besides, if Rapid City needs the LNI to make the costly new civic center work, then the powers to be that make choices had better go back to the drawing board.

  37. JeniW 2014.12.19

    Thank you Roger, you made an excellent point.

    What are, if any, the plans to build a more positive and solid relationship between the Native Americans and the police department during 2015?

    Relationships do not grow in a positive way if meetings and dialogues are only held once per year.

  38. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    Actually, I just heard the founder of the eventin SDP Radio describe LNI as an 'reconciliation' project' that began after the Wounded Knee Occupation.

  39. Bill Fleming 2014.12.19

    Sorry about crummy typing... iPhone in car.

  40. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.19

    Larry and Jerry,
    LNI would have to be held in Rapid City or Sioux Falls, aside from the basketball tournament there are girls basketball, volleyball tournaments, the knowledge bowl and numerous workshops that happen during LNI. The most recent estimate of LNI participants was 40,000 plus during the event.
    Bill, the related link by Chris Rock is excellent, it points out that there have been achievements by minorities since the foundation and those many minorities have made significant contributions to American culture. When you think about phrases like, "are we ready for a black president" or "are we ready for a woman president", you should be able to understand just how patronizing those comments are. We have always been ready for a black or woman president, but the dominant society said "NO" in order to keep their power and protect their financial interests.
    Rock's article also reminded me of how important it is to keep racism personal, personal on two fronts. The first is that any injustice to a minority is an injustice to me. The second is the importance of not labeling an entire race as racist because that is not true. If you review my comments on Madville you'll find a never put a persons race on trial, I do call out individuals for their racism. In order to make an impact on improving race relations, it is essential that we concentrate on specific acts of racism. When we use broad strokes and say the RCPD is racist, it is too easy too error and not be able to prove it. We need to call out those officers that have racial behavior and actions.
    The most annoying part of living in Rapid City and going about my business everyday with the expectation of a racial incident or being stopped for no reason by the RCPD. Most will say that does not happen and we shouldn't worry about it if we are not breaking a law, the point is that it does happen.

  41. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.19

    Roger is right, as is usually the case. The best thing law enforcement can do to keep the peace is weed out the bad apples, and they are definitely there. The majority of cops are decent people trying to do the right thing and their jobs will be easier, they themselves safer, after the process is complete. Of course it must be ongoing too.

  42. Roger Elgersma 2014.12.19

    Does it matter that the constitution states that we have the right to assemble? Here in Sioux Falls we also have to ask for a permit and pay a fee for it. I realize it might be handy for the cops to know what might happen and schedule officers accordingly. But to bypass the constitution is ridiculous. It is supposed to be government for the people by the people, not government for the cops by the cops. Police are there for if there is a problem. Not to limit our constitutional freedoms.

  43. JeniW 2014.12.20

    As I read of another rally/protest this time at the Mall of America I wonder "then what?"

    Eventually, the rallies and protests will run its course, but will it be just a fad that fades until there is another death?

    Where do we go from here, and who will lead the way?

    Is this something that the party can work on, that is, try to create a more positive relationship between the police and the general population. to improve communications between ethnic groups?

    Would the SDDP be willing to work with the Sioux Falls Diversity Council, the Multi-Cultural Center, and other groups to help facilitate the growth of unity and understanding? Not with the goal of getting more people to become and vote Democrats, but to help do the right thing?

  44. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.20

    Interesting headline from the Journal using the word "peaceful" to describe the anti-brutality rally. When there are other protest in the city like Religious Freedom rallies at the federal building, various marches for cancer support or even gay pride prides, there isn't a concern about violence.
    In Rapid City when Natives march for a cause there is always the expectation, or hope, that there will be violence even when rallies or marches haven't been violent since the 70's.
    This is just one of the symptoms of racial profiling that needs to overcome by the media and the public.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.20

    Roger, is it possible the RCJ used the word "peaceful" as an implicit rebuke to the police, who had raised fears of violence? Or does the use of that word reinforce prejudiced expectations?

  46. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.20

    I would think the latter Cory, if you think back to any rallies involving AIM since the 1970's the police and the public do have an expectation of violence.
    For Rapid Citians and South Dakotans, AIM and violence are synonymous regardless of the outcome of a protest.

  47. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.20

    A day after the anti-police brutality march in Rapid City, another Native American was shot and killed in Lakota Homes by a Rapid City police officer.

  48. leslie 2014.12.20

    wow. cops need to stop shooting people as a method of law enforcement. period.

  49. Loren 2014.12.21

    Could it be that the word "peaceful" was used only as a comparison to other cities where violence erupted during similar protests and actually had no discriminatory intent? BTW, Roger, your comment about the shooting makes it sound like sport. You forgot the little piece of info about the knife. Let's let, at least, some of the facts come in before we declare war, eh?

  50. larry kurtz 2014.12.21

    Anyone believing RCPD doesn't shoot NDNs for sport is delusional: it's an endemic and engrained in white South Dakota culture.

  51. jerry 2014.12.21

    I am glad that march against police brutality was so successful and it lasted for about 24 hours. A promotion for the shooter will be forthcoming. I am quite sure that Jackley will rule the shooting justifiable, nothing to see here.

  52. jerry 2014.12.21

    As the police wear protection, should not the Native population receive the same kind of attire for their everyday life? Why is there such a fear of Native men? What is the background of the shooters that come to the Rapid City police force, where are they from? Where does Rapid City get its employees?

    Here is a thought, why not train the police to try to use non lethal shots on those that are not shooting back at them? Why not shoot to wound instead of shoot to kill? Let the court decide the fate of the alleged perpetrator.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.21

    Jerry, I think we've had that conversation (my apologies, I can't remember which comment, which post) about the ineffectiveness of training cops to shoot to wound rather than to kill. Arms and legs move fast; head and torso do not. I don't approve of police brutality, but I'm also not going to hamstring police with trying to shoot a knife out of a guy's hand. I'm fine with sticking with the rule that, cop or civilian, you don't point your gun at anything you don't intend to kill.

  54. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.21

    When I posted the comment about the recent killing, there were no real details, it wouldn't surprise me if the police are shooting for sport.
    On the grand jury thread the Pennington County state's attorney stated that police need to react to immediate threats with the assumption that a shooter or knife wielder was out to kill, that is understandable
    Police are also supposedly trained to escalate or de-escalate threatening situations.

  55. larry kurtz 2014.12.21

    Suicide by cop is commonplace: "when you ain't got nuthin' you got nuthin' to lose."

  56. jerry 2014.12.21

    I can't wait to see the police reports from the dead guys past. No doubt it will be starting at a young age as that is how things are done to promote the kind of slave labor that is necessary for future back breaking work in South Dakota's continued run to the bottom. Take that "Dignity" money and put it to good use in Indian Country. No statues, just statutes for safety starting at a young age. A million bucks would go a long way in a Head Start program of for education. Use the 25 million that is being put up privately for those that have strong roots in South Dakota for meaningful jobs and opportunities.

    I certainly do not advocate violence against authority by anyone. All of us have an inherent right to protect ourselves. That being said, the police force is supposed to be trained in the use of weapons and that includes the firing range. They cannot be expected to shoot the gun or knife out of someones hand like Roy Rogers, but they should be expected to try for the shoulder or the knee to incapacitate the subject if armed with something other than a gun. With a gun, you must do what you must, but how do the white guys only get wounded when confronting police with a gun? I guess they have a different profile on the shooting range.

  57. jerry 2014.12.21

    Vargo says "hand" as the target. Of course that is not feasible in a tense situation. The shoulder, knee, leg or ankle are targets that should be engaged before lethal force is directed.

    The next thing to remind police is that Natives are human and are not red demons.

  58. Les 2014.12.21

    Kind of what you did in The Nam, huh Jerry? Aim for the shoulders or the knees?
    I think they need you in New York to bear your white privelege. Two cops shot in respect for a choking.

  59. jerry 2014.12.21

    Of course you would not know about that Les, and that is okay by me. Those guys were actually shooting at us guys. So, in our book, it is never the bullet with your name on it, it was always the bullet that went out to whom it may concern. The shootings in New York were done by a murderer who had just shot his girlfriend, soon you will like that to Bengayzee and by like Rudy, blame it on Obama. You guys are so predictable.

  60. jerry 2014.12.21

    By the way Les, in my AO we had what was called a Free Fire Zone, a Controlled Fire Zone and a No Fire Zone. These were devised to help control civilian casualties. Obviously, the No Fire Zones only meant that you were to engage only when fired upon. See even in Vietnam we had scruples on the rules of engagement. Glad you could not make Les to that dance party, it may have changed your life as it did mine.

  61. Les 2014.12.21

    Your Nam experience must have come very very late in the game, Jerry.
    Btw, take my words from which there are plenty, and bring them here to show my predictability on those subjects you mention.

  62. Les 2014.12.21

    Daniel Tiger wasn't actually shooting at those young officers, he was just a poor shot and happened to hit three and kill two? Wonder whose name really was on those bullets, Jerry?

  63. jerry 2014.12.21

    Not so late in the war Les. To me, it was never a game, it was a matter of fact. I could never be as cavalier as you sir. Death comes in many strange ways and it always must be respected. I never wavered from the goals that were set by orders for me to fulfill. But I never knowingly killed a noncombatant, nor would I condone such a gross action in those with whom I had the honour to serve with. I am truly sorry for your misunderstanding of what that means.

  64. jerry 2014.12.21

    Daniel Tiger was a young man that got caught up in a vicious cycle of violence with other young men that day. They may well have known one another, of that, I am unsure and it really may not matter in the way it all played out. The fact of the matter is that they are dead. They are as dead as Christopher Capps and as dead as the Native man killed last night in Rapid City. Those are the facts, bullets kill regardless of the name on them.

    I see other places around the world that do not have the same kind of policing results that we have here in our gun violent society that has far to many of these bullets for all to glam onto. You imply that this America is a battlefield, I wonder. I would hope that there would be the outcry from citizens to demand a more peaceful society as it is clear that a protest march brings little in that regard.

  65. Les 2014.12.21

    You have a strange comprehension of words, Jerry. It probably comes from knowing so well what is in everyone's head but your own.
    America is a battlefield right, wrong or otherwise. 2 police assassinated in New York. Daniel Tiger appears to be a youth to not be feared but is as dangerous as the children of war sent out with gifts laced with explosives. On every corner there is the possibility of attack on our men in blue.
    If, you indeed served as its starting to sound like you didn't, you of all people should understand the inherent right of officers of the law to protect themselves. I don't know anyone who revels in death, though I'm sure our warden in Sioux Falls could get you some names.

  66. jerry 2014.12.21

    You sir, are an idiot.

  67. Les 2014.12.21

    thanks, Jerry. I expect nothing less from you. Party on.

  68. jerry 2014.12.22

    Glad to be of service, as always.

  69. leslie 2014.12.25

    les, you are in with the anti-obama, -nyc mayor, -nyc law enforcement unions, and those republicans who declare that free speech against cop abuse is anti-american and incites class/race violence. you also seem interested in advising how SDDP moves on from 2014 elections. although i detest most of your points, i am glad you are here, sort of,.... perhaps you will eventually learn there is another, more correct way of looking at things than your own and your party's way.

  70. leslie 2014.12.25

    ..."your own and your party's DESTRUCTIVE way. tell mcconnell/boenher for me wouldja? sorry for misspelling their names.

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