Updated: January 03, 2021 11:00 AM
Created: January 02, 2021 06:54 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Native groups gathered at the Petroglyph National Monument's Visitor Center Saturday afternoon to demand justice for Darrell House. House, a Native man and Marine veteran, was tased by a park ranger at the monument last weekend while walking his dog.
The National Park Service said the incident is still under investigation. In response, Native activists organized a prayer walk to the Petroglyphs from Santa Fe, calling for the firing of the park ranger.
"We come here, we pray, we admire the beauty that's left," said Ashkia Trujillo, a prayer walker. "It's a reminder of the people that we come from. If it wasn't for their struggles, none of us would be here today."
Last Sunday, House said he was approached by a large group of walkers on the trail, so he moved off the trail for social distancing reasons.
“This park ranger started following me, and he came out of nowhere and he got upset about that. I guess he was upset about me going off trail before, you know, doing my prayers for the rocks,” House said.
A four-minute video posted to House’s Instagram shows a park ranger repeatedly deploying his taser at House while House appears to be confused and afraid. The video went viral within a few days.
In the video, the park ranger attempts to handcuff House, and is not heard explaining why he deployed his taser or why House was being detained. House eventually agreed to sit and be handcuffed.
Recently released lapel video also shows what led up to that moment.
Ranger: Do you guys have ID's with you? I don't intend on writing anything. Sir, you are not free to go right now. Hold on. Hold on. Hey bud. You are not free. Do not do it like this okay. Please don't be like that”
House: I don’t need to show you an ID.
Ranger: It’s just a simple contact that is honesty a warning. I don't expect it to be more than that. All I need to make sure we haven’t talked about it in the past.
House: You are not getting my ID. You don’t need my identification, sir.
In the past week, others have voiced concerns about law enforcement at the Petroglyph National Monument. KOB 4 spoke with one couple who said the same officer kept them detained for three hours and took away medical merijuana they had a prescription for. They are scheduled to appear in court for their case in March.
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