Oglala Sioux Tribe wants 28 death cases reopened - KOTA Territory News

Oglala Sioux Tribe wants 28 death cases reopened


Stories of murder and injustice filled a room at little Wound High School Wednesday, as Lakota people try to reopen investigations of their family member's deaths.

So far 28 deaths have been requested to be reinvestigated, but the Oglala Sioux Tribe hopes that meetings like this will give people a chance to add their relatives to that list.

People of all ages took turns telling their stories, and they all seemed to ask for the same things; truth, closure and justice.

Brendan Johnson from the U.S. Attorneys' Office says they will do what they can but it may be a difficult task. "There are people who won't receive justice and that's a horrible thing and my heart goes out to people who won't get justice, but the least that we can do is at least try to provide them with more information about what happened in their loved one's case even if we can't solve them," said Johnson.

Family members of the people who died say those unsolved cases were never investigated thoroughly.

Ina Mae Rodriguez's son died in 2008 in Salt Lake City. It was ruled as a suicide but she says the evidence proves otherwise. While her son's death was not on the reservation she says that what she is going through is very similar to others that spoke at the meeting. "I just pray that today would be a good day for our people because there's a lot of hurting souls here," said Rodriguez.

Some of the cases date back to the 1970's and Johnson worries there will be little evidence to go off of.

But he says, if nothing more is uncovered in a case, he wants to at least sit down with the family and explain what they do know.

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