In Wyoming, Shooting Highlights Divide Between a City and a Reservation

This article really caught my attention, after watching the movie on Wounded Knee I realized that there was a reoccurring theme for both events. In this news article two Native Americans were victims of a shooting, this event stirred up old affairs between Natives and Whites once again. What stirred up the most conflict was the fact that white officials denied that this tragedy could’ve been a hate crime, When the Arapaho community tried to support this theory officials said it had nothing to do with race and quickly dismissed the idea.

I feel like this article is relevant because after the intense history we have with the natives, they are still treated like a minority. It was stated from Arapaho tribe members that had the victims been white Americans officials would’ve handled the matter a lot differently. The shooter told the police he had gone looking for “park rangers” which according to tribal officials is a slur term for homeless Indians. However, an arrest affidavit played down any racial motivation, saying that the shooter was “targeting transient people regardless of race.” With this said I can definitely understand why the Natives think this could’ve been a hate crime and should certainly not be ignored.

Do you think the shooting was in fact a “hate crime” or that it was merely a coincidence the two victims were Native Americans? Why?

9 responses to “In Wyoming, Shooting Highlights Divide Between a City and a Reservation

  1. Based on information provided by the article, the reasoning behind the shooting still sounds like a hate crime. While racial prejudice played a role in the shooting (hinted by the shooter’s use of racial slurs), a hate crime does not necessarily have to be motivated by it. A hate crime is defined as a violent crime motivated by any prejudice. The shooter himself said he was sick of homeless people “lingering and urinating in public” – an example of prejudice against the homeless.


    • I completely agree with you. Personally I believe that even though I don’t have anything against white people, they tend to commit crimes like these. White or caucasian males usually commit crimes against other minorities such as blacks, hispanics, and native americans. Usually it is out of the reason because they are prejudice and they don’t like minorities in the country. After they have committed the crime they usually end up getting a pass on the crime and are usually ruled mentally ill. In my opinion this is completely and utterly absurd. They need to be punished. This looked like a hate crime based on all the evidence.


  2. Indeed, I do believe it sounds like a hate crime. The soul fact that the shooter made it clear he hated the people, and disagreed with what they did. That’s going against the homeless, and on purposely shooting. As Cindy above said, a hate crime can be motivated by other things. On another hand, I don’t believe it was a coincidence, they just so happened to be there at that time and just so happened to be Native Americans, nothing else. If we automatically assume it was due to them being Indians, then we must automatically assume everyone is racial and we all do things accordingly towards another’s race. That my friends, is just wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While it is true that crime can involve other elements and may have different angles and reasoning’s behind it, its main motivation is hate; Hate for people, hate for what those people represent, and hate for anything that is within association.


  3. I so far agree with all of the comments that have been posted. If you voice the fact that you hate people and do not want to have anything to do with them, it is understood that your main motive for crime would be the drive of wanting people you do not like or tolerate eliminated.


  4. It is mind boggling to me how there is any question about whether or not this is a hate crime.
    After he committed the crime, when the shooter was giving his statements to the officers on what and why he was shooting, he said he went out looking for “park rangers” (which is a local slur for homeless Indians). The shooter did not say he was looking for alcoholics- he did not say he went out looking for homeless people or hobo’s or drunks. He flat out admitted in his own words that he went after the homeless INDIANS. This is a hate crime and it seems like people are pretending they don’t believe him, just to ‘prevent’ more trouble between the Indians and the local Americans. It’s just easier to pretend that than it is to say that your people are committing hate crimes.
    Which, according to the locals, is totally backfiring. They say that there is even more tension than before. So sad!


    • I agree with you that this was a hate crime because the shooter himself basically said it by saying a derogatory word towards the victims. Thats like someone shooting a African American and saying “the n word” towards them but then people say its not a hate crime.


  5. In my opinion this is a hate crime. People are always using excuses to commit hate crimes, specially against minorities. This is not a retaliation crime or anything like that but this utterly ridiculous. It seems to me like every few weeks there are crimes committed like this. This is unacceptable and shouldn’t continue. The defendants should be convicted and punished for their disgusting actions. Just by what the male said says it all. He’s obviously prejudice and committed this hate crime for reasons not determined. The cause of this was probably cause he doesn’t like the minorities.


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