A video capturing a park ranger at the Petroglyph National Monument tasing a Native American man for going off the trail at the national park outside Albuquerque, New Mexico is going viral.
KRQE reports: “[Darrell] House says he was walking through the Petroglyphs at the Piedra Mercado trail with his dog, Geronimo when he saw a large group of visitors on the trail ahead, so he decided to cut through the blocked off area to maintain social distancing. He says he’s never had an issue going off-trail before, but this time, a ranger came up behind him and advised him to get back on the designated path. House says he complied, and the ranger began asking for identification, but House refused. hat’s when, House says, the ranger tased him. ‘I was holding my dog, so my dog got tased as well, he felt the shock, he felt everything. I ended up dropping him when I fell,’ said House.”
House shared the video, shot by a companion, to Instagram.
Wrote House: “I was tased for being off trail at the Petroglyphs. I come here to pray and speak to my Pueblo Ancestor relatives. Even though I’m Navajo and Oneida, I honor this land.”
“Here, you will see a white man abuse his power,” House continued. “Both men pulled tasers on me after the first 1 couldn’t keep me down. This could have been a civil interaction. The law doesn’t work for the Indigenous. The government doesn’t give a sh*t about us. This was uncalled for. You see I’m clearly on the trail. I explained my reason for being off trail (which I shouldn’t have to.) If anyone has the right to be off trail and wonder this land, it’s the NATIVE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY! What hurt me the most was when my baby Geronimo 🐩 felt the shock.”
“I didn’t feel I needed to identify myself for doing absolutely nothing wrong,” House added.”I’m traumatized. My left leg is numb and still bleeding. Geronimo 🐩 is shaking and hasn’t stopped. I’m shaking.
You would think with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor with the Black Lives Matter Movement authorities would try to avoid having to pull a weapon out. Imagine I disarm him from the taser then what I get charged with assault or worse he grabs for his gun and ends me. These scenarios have been going through my head since this afternoon. I’m a son, I’m a brother, I’m a father. More importantly, I’m a human being. I’m good people, The Marines I served with would agree. The many people I’ve crossed paths with, you know me. This was the 🍒 on top of my 2020✊🏾😡.”
The National Park Service released a statement:
On December 27, a law enforcement park ranger contacted two visitors who were walking in a closed area off-trail, which is a violation of National Park Service regulations within Petroglyph National Monument. A video capturing part of their interaction and posted to social media has generated question and interest from the public.
In accordance with National Park Service policy, this incident is under review and has been referred to the NPS Office of Professional Responsibility, our internal affairs unit, for a thorough investigation. While we work to gather the facts of this specific situation, we cannot speculate on the events leading up to what was captured on video. We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously, and appreciate the public’s patience as we gather the facts of this incident.
Full performance NPS law enforcement officers complete extensive law enforcement training programs along with many other Federal law enforcement agencies at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, as well as on-the-job training in the NPS Field Training and Evaluation Program. Throughout their careers, officers complete required annual training to ensure skills proficiency and current knowledge of law enforcement issues. Additionally, NPS officers are required to undergo initial and ongoing specialized training to carry an electronic control device, commonly known as Tasers.