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Crowd Meets With Mayor Allender To Make Plans To Better Race Relations

Trace O’Connell was acquitted from his disorderly conduct charge yesterday. O’Connell was accused of pouring beer on children from the American Horse School during a Rush Hockey game at the Civic center.

A crowd met with Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender after the verdict was announced.

After the verdict was released, a group of Native American people gathered outside of the city administration building in Rapid City. Cody Hall is with the Last Real Indians. He says the group is disappointed that Lakota kid’s lives aren’t valued in Rapid City.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender met with the group. Hall addressed Allender.

Hall: “We have something where we collectively put together questions that say the true concerns of what’s going on here. And then we start that processes. You have to crawl before you walk, and right now we have to crawl. I’m crawling with you. That’s that image I see right now. I’m crawling with the city because we’re like 20 years behind right now. And we’re trying, we get up and then we get pulled down that quick.”

Hall and Allender made plans for a group meeting to discuss race relations in the area. Allender says race relations are a top priority without a quick solution.

Allender: “Regardless if this verdict was innocent or guilty, there are still fences to mend, still improvements to be made. This verdict for the supporters of the students is really just another wound, or reopening a scab on an old wound. And so, we need some time I think to let the emotion wear down a little bit, get cool heads together, and look how to avoid this type of thing in the future.”

Allender says the he hopes to discuss plans to move the community forward during the meeting.