SWO Watchdog Coalition
On June 20th, 2021 Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribal member, Morning Star Kitto, was assaulted by 5 white people shouting racial slurs at the Lake Traverse Resort. Morning Star’s relatives witnessed the assault and reported pulling multiple people off of her before getting her into a vehicle and removing her from the location. One of the perpetrators kicked her knee with such violence that it took four surgeries to repair her leg. Morning Star has been in the hospital since the incident occurred.
On July 1st, 2021 a Facebook post about the incident was released and has since been shared over 4,000 times. There had been no arrests, no police lineups to identify the perpetrators of this crime, no movement in the case at all. The family had been calling the Roberts County Sheriff Tyler Appel without answer for an update on the case.
On July 2nd, the Roberts County Sheriff’s Department released two statements about the case after pressure from social media. Their second statement said that the FBI was involved and that the Roberts County Sheriff had met with Sisseton Wahpeton Law Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies and that they would not be making any further statements.
The Kitto family, along with the SWO Watchdog Coalition, American Indian Movement, Brown Berets, Women with Bows and Grand Governing Council are planning a press conference at the Roberts County Sheriff’s Department in Sisseton, SD on Wednesday July 7th, 2021 at 1pm. After, supporters will caravan to the Lake Traverse Resort to protest.
These kinds of hate crimes need to stop, and our area law enforcement need to be held responsible for their lack of action until a viral social media post.