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Native Americans Are Being Killed by Police at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Group

By Stephanie Woodard /
Jun 13, 2020
Native Americans Are Being Killed by Police at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Group
The Police Killings No One is Talking About

SUQUAMISH TRIBE DESCENDANT JEANETTA RILEY, A 34-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OF FOUR, LAY FACEDOWN ON A SANDPOINT, IDAHO, STREET. One minute earlier, three police officers had arrived, summoned by staff at a nearby hospital. Her husband had sought help there because Riley—homeless, pregnant and with a history of mental illness—was threatening suicide. Riley had a knife in her right hand and was sitting in the couple’s parked van.

Wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle and Glock pistols, the officers quickly closed in on Riley—one moving down the sidewalk toward the van, the other two crossing the roadway. They shouted instructions at her—to walk toward them, show them her hands. Cursing them, she refused.

“Drop the knife!” they yelled, advancing, then opened fire.

They pumped two shots into her chest and another into her back as she fell to the pavement. Fifteen seconds had elapsed from the time they exited their vehicles.

That July evening in 2014, Riley became another Native American killed by police.

Read the rest of this special investigation at In These Times. It found that Natives are more likely to be killed by police than any other U.S. group and that these killings are almost entirely unreported by mainstream media.  

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