Vernon Traversie, a member and resident of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota came home from a 14-day stay in the hospital to find he had been horribly mutilated. Three Ks can be easily seen carved or burned into his abdomen in the shocking photograph taken the day after he came home.
The victim is age 68 and completely blind. Vernon Traversie's nightmare began when he had a heart attack while at the Heart Doctors office in Rapid City last August. He was immediately sent a few blocks away to Rapid City Regional Hospital for emergency surgery. Being blind, Traversie didn’t even know what was done to him until a RCRH employee came into his room and advised him to have pictures taken of his chest and abdomen as soon as he got home. She said she could not testify on his behalf, but that her conscience got the best of her and she did not agree with what had been done to him.
The tribal police, FBI, and Traversie’s pastor all have photographs of the suspicious wounds.
Traversie is a Lakota elder, who may have been the victim of a vicious hate crime, and his case deserves investigation. Nothing is being done on his behalf by law enforcement. Traversie had retained a lawyer and waited seven months for his Rapid City attorney to take action on his behalf. He posted a video on youtube because his attorney took no action besides initial contact with hospital authorities, and had told him not to speak about his case. The lawyer has done nothing further on Traversie's behalf. Traversie has since ended his contract with said attorney and tribal officials are working to find someone to take his case.
Please sign this petition on behalf of Vernon Traversie. American Indian elders should be protected against this kinda of vicious abuse. We ask that the State Attorney General of South Dakota, Marty Jackley, investigate the hate crime against Vernon Traversie. We want racism and hate crimes against our American Indian community to end.