Rapid City, SD – The South Dakota Green Party vehemently condemns the ongoing injustice perpetuated by State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel’s office. The recent sit-in by the families of Nevaeh Brave Heart, Aiko Storm White Eagle, Kasey Arehart, and Kyle Whiting, along with local community members, reflects a community pushed to the brink by a blatantly biased and discriminatory justice system.
This is not a matter of isolated incidents but a systemic failure. The handling of Nevaeh Brave Heart’s hit-and-run case, where a white perpetrator received a mere misdemeanor charge despite evident attempts to conceal the crime, stands in stark, unacceptable contrast to the 30-year sentence handed to Native teenager Kasey Arehart for a non-fatal offense. Such disparities are not just legal oversights but are indicative of a deep-rooted racial prejudice within the State’s Attorney’s office.
We stand in solidarity with the community’s outcry that Native lives are being systematically devalued and dismissed. The lack of accountability and the evasion of responsibility in these cases are not only unethical but are an affront to the principles of justice and equality.
The South Dakota Green Party demands the immediate resignation of Lara Roetzel. Her continuation in office is a direct threat to the safety and justice of the community, particularly its Native members. We call for an independent investigation into the State’s Attorney’s office to rectify these injustices and to implement measures ensuring such biases are eradicated.
The South Dakota Green Party will not be silent while justice is selectively applied. It is time for a sweeping change, ensuring that the justice system in Rapid City and beyond is fair, impartial, and reflective of the values of all its constituents.