Cops Arrest Native Man At Sweat Lodge While Praying, Charges Dropped

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Source: Indian Country Media Nework

Police in North Dakota have dropped charges against a Native American male had built a sweat lodge and was just trying to pray

Authorities in Fargo, North Dakota, will host cultural sensitivity training for its officers after a Native American man was arrested at a sweat lodge in the southwest area, according to reports.

Local station KFGO reported there was a misunderstanding by Fargo Police Department officer Jacob Rued concerning the traditions of the ceremony, specifically about the fire needed to heat the stones for the sweat. The Bismarck Tribune reported that Rued responded to the sight of a large fire and proceeded to question Zebadiah Gartner, 20, a Native American.

Gartner told Rued he had a right to be at the location and would not comply with the officer’s orders, according to the Tribune. Gartner was arrested and charged with resisting an officer, but the charge was dismissed.

“We got some new people on the police force and they don’t know about the sweat lodge, the older guys do, but this is, he really didn’t know how a sweat lodge works or what happens so we’re gonna go through what this is about and what’s happening out there,” Mayor Tim Mahoney said, reported KFGO.

The arrest of Zebadiah Gartner, 20, has prompted a plan for sensitivity training within the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota.

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The arrest of Zebadiah Gartner, 20, has prompted a plan for sensitivity training within the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota.

Mahoney said they will post signs so that officers and the public will know that the area – which is located on public property – is a place of prayer for local Native Americans.

“Chief Dave Todd has agreed that we’re gonna do that and we’re going to get some signage up,” he said, KFGO reported.

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