Native American Man Attends Anti-Police Brutality Rally, Gets Kills by Cop Next Day
A knife-wielding Native American man was shot and killed by South Dakota police a day after attending an anti-police brutality protest in the state’s second-largest city.
The Rapid City Journal reports 30-year-old Allen Locke was shot by Rapid City Police officer Anthony Meirose in a house at the Lakota Community Homes off North Haines Avenue on Saturday evening.
In a press release, Rapid City Police stated Meirose was called to the scene to remove a person from a residence at 541 Paha Sapa Road at about 6:10 p.m. There, the officer encountered a belligerent Locke, who allegedly charged at him with a knife. Meirose shot Locke “up to five times,” according to police.
The fatal shooting occurred a day after around 100 people, most of them Native Americans, staged a #NativeLivesMatter rally in downtown Rapid City to protest police brutality. Locke and his family attended the demonstration.
Keloland.com reports Rapid City Police Capt. Dan Rud was asked during a Sunday press conference whether people would make a connection between the timing of the shooting and the previous day’s protest.
“I mean, that’s always a concern,” acknowledged Rud. “But bear in mind that the rally on Friday was… peaceful, they were exercising their First Amendment right. And this happening the next day, we have no control over that. Mr. Locke made that decision. For whatever reason, he made that decision to attack a police officer, which forced that officer to protect himself.”
Rud also said the incident had nothing to do with race.
“This officer is white, the suspect is Native American, but it’s not a race deal,” the captain insisted. “This is based on criminal behavior and it have nothing to do with race. Had the race of the Police Officer be Native American and the suspect white the results would have been the same.”
Rud added that Meirose had no option but to shoot Locke.
“From what we understand last night there was not time for that and it was not a viable option to use a taster or OC [pepper] spray or whatever it was not a viable option for the officer at the time,” he said.
Last Real Indians reports Locke’s family has issued a statement calling for calm in the community.
“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,” the statement reads in part.
“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 [sic] heals of his participation in the #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally and March a day before this horrific incident,” the statement continues.
“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.”
Black Hills Fox reports Meirose has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.