CROW RESERVATION, Mont. - The Crow Tribe is bringing three charges against a BIA K9 handler involved in a traffic stop in Lodge Grass last week.
A complaint filed in Crow Tribal Court shows the tribe is bringing charges of aggravated assault, criminal endangerment, and negligent endangerment against Steve Stallings, the BIA officer seen in a series of videos struggling to handle his K9.
LODGE GRASS, Mont. – Cell phone video already shared widely on Facebook shows a disturbing i…
All charges are misdemeanors, the only charges allowed in tribal court.
The complaint alleges that on July 20, Stallings was working in his capacity as a BIA agent when he was responded as a back-up officer to a call in Lodge Grass.
Documents say Stallings arrived on scene after the original responder had already deployed his taser on two separate occasions. Documents go on to say Stallings deployed his K9 unit after the victim was already on the ground.
After the handcuffs were placed on the man on the ground, the complaint says Stallings failed to restrain the K9 unit during the stop. Stallings repeatedly ordered the K9 to release, but "for some reason he was unable or unwilling to obtain compliance from the dog."
The complaint says the victim suffered sever emotional and physical injuries as a result of this interaction.
The man on the ground in the video has previously been identified as Harris Redstar. At this time, Redstar has not yet made a public statement. We do know that Redstar has retained an attorney, but it is not clear whether or not he intends to file a lawsuit.
Crow Tribe Prosecutor David Sibley stated, "Unfortunately, nothing in this video is surprising to anyone who has lived on the Crow Nation. Make no doubt that we need policing and more officers to cover 2.3 million acres, but we need quality, trained law enforcement. Excessive force against Crow people by a federal officer should never happen. The video clearly shows an officer who is not properly trained, who cannot control a K9 and shouldn’t be policing our people and tribal lands. We have seen the unnecessary and excessive use of force from a few poorly trained law enforcement officers across the United States and we not immune on the Crow Nation. The use of the K9 is well beyond what was necessary in this incident and the actions of the officer were not in line with appropriate BIA law enforcement conduct.”
A FOIA request has been submitted to the BIA on behalf of our news team for information regarding Officer Stallings' and K9 Officer Weasley's status, any and all dashcam or bodycam video, and BIA protocol for K9 officer bites.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.