On December 28, a park ranger repeatedly used a taser on a man who had walked off-trail with his dog in a national park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The man, a Native American named Darrell House, explained to KRQE News that he walked off of the trail with his dog, Geronimo, while visiting the Petroglyph National Monument. House stated that he left the trail to avoid a group of people who were walking along the Piedra Mercado trail.
House said that a park ranger approached him and demanded that he get back on the trail – though House complied, he refused to hand over identification when asked. At that point, the ranger used the taser on him, while he was holding his dog.
In an Instagram post, House said:
I didn’t feel I needed to identify myself for doing absolutely nothing wrong.
I’m traumatized. My left leg is numb and still bleeding.
Geronimo 🐩 is shaking and hasn’t stopped.
House maintains that the rules to not go off of the trail do not apply to him because he is an indigenous person.
The National Park service released a statement about the incident:
On December 27, a law enforcement park ranger contacted two visitors who were walking in a closed area off-trail, which is a violation of National Park Service regulations within Petroglyph National Monument. A video capturing part of their interaction and posted to social media has generated question and interest from the public.
In accordance with National Park Service policy, this incident is under review and has been referred to the NPS Office of Professional Responsibility, our internal affairs unit, for a thorough investigation. While we work to gather the facts of this specific situation, we cannot speculate on the events leading up to what was captured on video. We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously, and appreciate the public’s patience as we gather the facts of this incident.
Full performance NPS law enforcement officers complete extensive law enforcement training programs along with many other Federal law enforcement agencies at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, as well as on-the-job training in the NPS Field Training and Evaluation Program. Throughout their careers, officers complete required annual training to ensure skills proficiency and current knowledge of law enforcement issues. Additionally, NPS officers are required to undergo initial and ongoing specialized training to carry an electronic control device, commonly known as Tasers.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Video and Instagram post here.
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