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There are stories that still cling to me, even a year or two later. They are the ones I can’t forget if I wanted to.

This eight-year-old girl haunts me. Of course she’s not eight anymore, but she remains so in my mind.

There are certain stories that stick like a pin in the heart. With this case, it was not only what happened to this eight-year-old Rosebud Sioux girl, it was the state’s response. This stays with me as I consider the long-lasting impact that that this trauma has had on this little girl — for she was just eight when it happened.

In October 2013, this eight-year-old girl was tasered by the police, the firing hooks gouged into her skin. I felt revolt when I first heard that it had happened and I’m angry still. Another anniversary does little to settle my anger.

What’s the lesson? Don’t be a girl? Don’t be a child? Don’t be Native American? Don’t be Rosebud Sioux?Don’t do silly things that kids do?

She haunts me.

I reacted when this event occurred. She could be Trayvon Martin  or Tamir Rice that December. Any December.

This eight-year-old girl was from Pierre, South Dakota and belongs to the Rosebud Sioux community.

For this is life on the Rez, one of the poorest rez in the American nation…not some far-flung, hostile theatre of combat but right in the middle of America the beautiful.

I can still pull up her picture from my memory. Eight years old. Seventy pounds. She is still beautiful. Big brown eyes, a playful smile curled around the corners of her lips. I stare into her eyes and don’t see a hint of violence. Precociousness, maybe, but not violence.

She haunts me.

Four officers were on the scene that day saw her with a small pairing knife, to which the police deemed her to be a threat. So the officers tasered her to “neutralize” the threat.

Her mother, on the other hand, felt that the police had other, less violent ways of subduing her if she really felt that she was a serious threat to the community. Witnesses acknowledge that the eight year old, 70 lb girl, was throwing a tantrum at the time but was not lunging at anyone.

“Within seconds,” the officer’s electroshock weapon discharged its snares into the chest of the 70-lb girl, a filed lawsuit against the police department read.

“The force of the electricity shot through her body, lifted her, and threw her against a wall. After the officers had stunned (the girl) into high voltage submission, they pulled the fish-hook like Taser darts from her chest, gave her emergency medical attention, bandaged the holes left by the razor-sharp hooks, and called the ambulance.”

In late December, 2013, Pierre Police Chief, Bob Granpre, says that the police acted properly. And after a two-month long investigation, Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner stated that she, “was satisfied with the independent investigation, which found that the officer who Tasered the juvenile did not act unreasonably….No charges have been filed against the police officer or the juvenile.”

If America had collectively remembered her case, she might have functioned as the canary in the coal mine that there was something seriously wrong brewing in the United States policing force.

Defense attorney for the girl, Attorney Dana Hanna, recounted the incident, saying that the “four trained police officers surrounding a 70-pound, eight-year-old Indian girl,” should have used tactics that were less violent and not so risky to the young girl’s health and possibly life.

“One distracts her, another grabs the girl’s arm. That’s what they should have done,” Hanna continued.

Meanwhile, the worst damage is done. The girl is currently receiving mental and emotional counselling from a child counsellor, as a result of the trauma she experienced at the hands of police.

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Krystalline Kraus

krystalline kraus is an intrepid explorer and reporter from Toronto, Canada. A veteran activist and journalist for, she needs no aviator goggles, gas mask or red cape but proceeds fearlessly...