Archive for July 17th, 2012
Were the letters ‘KKK’ carved into a Lakota man’s chest during heart surgery? A federal civil lawsuit has been filed over the allegations.
Associated Press reporter Kristi Eaton has the full report:
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A lawyer for a Native American man who claims the letters KKK were carved into his stomach during surgery has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the South Dakota hospital where the operation took place, the hospital’s board of directors and others.
YouTube videos featuring 69-year-old Vern Traversie, a Lakota man who lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation, went viral in Native American communities earlier this year. In them, Traversie talks about being mistreated at the hospital and shows his abdomen. Though he himself is blind, Traversie says he was told by others that the scars left after his heart surgery form the letters.
A May rally in support of Traversie drew hundreds of people, many of whom said his story exemplifies the racism Native Americans experience in Rapid City. But others say they can’t make out the letters, including police who investigated his allegations and hospital officials. No criminal charges have been filed in the case.
Here’s more on the story from the Rapid City Journal.