Local and regional law enforcement officers were kept plenty busy Monday, June 17, as protesters attempted to keep Budweiser trucks from making their deliveries to Arrowhead in Whiteclay. According to Sheridan County Sheriff, Terry Robbins, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, Dawes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chadron and Gordon Police Departments were all involved in keeping the peace at the incident.
Eventually, the trucks decided to leave without making their deliveries, but returned two hours later and successfully made the deliveries. Due to the protection of local law enforcement, no vandalism occurred to the trucks. No protesters were arrested in relation to the vandalism, but charges may be filed at a later date. The Nebraska State Patrol reports that one officer was assaulted during the protests, and that Pine Ridge 99 responded to the scene twice for transports not related to the protesters.
During the first attempt to stop the trucks, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer was arrested on a Sheridan County warrant for Issuing a Bad Check, but was later released after settling the debt, and the charges will be dismissed. Brewer told the Rapid City Journal that they would continue to protest, and that he had a meeting with the governor of Nebraska on July 8.
According to Sheriff Robbins, around 3:45 p.m. the protesters peacefully marched into Whiteclay in a civil manner, where a speech was delivered, and then peacefully marched back into South Dakota.
Tribal authorities set up an alcohol checkpoint between Whiteclay and Pine Ridge during the protests, which lasted until 7:30 p.m.
The Oglala Sioux tribal council voted 9-7 last Tuesday to bring the question of legalizing alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to a public vote. Read more here.