Gang violence an issue for Pine Ridge Reservation

The New York Times examines gang violence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Officials with the Oglala Sioux Tribe have counted 39 gangs on the reservation. They say the gangs have contributed to a rise in crime and violence.

“Tenants are calling in and saying ‘I’m scared,’” Paul Iron Cloud, the executive officer of the Oglala Sioux Housing Authority, told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a hearing in July. “It seems that every day we’re getting more violence."

Richard Wilson, 24, belongs to the North Side Tre Tre Gangster Crips. He has served as a pallbearer for five fellow gang members and appears to be questioning his future plans.

"I still get drunk and hang with my homeboys, but not like I used to," Wilson tells the Times.

Michael Little Boy Jr., 30, was almost lured into gang life but focused on Lakota traditions instead. “I was able to turn myself around.” he says.

Get the Story:
Gang Violence Grows on an Indian Reservation (The New York Times 12/14)

Committee Hearings:
OVERSIGHT HEARING to examine drug smuggling and gang activity in Indian country (November 19, 2009)
OVERSIGHT HEARING to examine the increase of gang activity in Indian country (July 30, 2009)

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