Sitka Tribe asks FBI to consider racial bias in arrest of student


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the arrest of a Native student who was undressed and repeatedly tasered by police officers in Sitka, Alaska.

Franklin Hoogendorn, 18, was taken into custody in September 2014 after allegedly tussling with officers. A video posted on YouTube showed him being stunned at least 10 times by three officers.

The Sitka police department cleared the officers of wrongdoing but the FBI is trying to determine whether Hoogendorn's civil rights were violated, KCAW reported. He was a student at Mt. Edgecumbe High School at the time of the incident and was never prosecuted because all charges were dropped.

The Sitka Tribe is asking to be consulted as the investigation proceeds, KCAW reported. Chairman Mike Baines said he's heard of similar incidents involving mistreatment by local officers and wants the FBI to consider whether racial bias was a factor in the arrest.

"I’ve heard of a lot of Natives getting assaulted by the police and that kind of thing," Baines told KCAW. "It’s pretty common."

Get the Story:
Sitka Tribe pens letter to FBI, requests consultation regarding local police department policies (KCAW 11/23)
FBI to lead investigation of tasing incident in Sitka jail (KCAW 11/17)

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