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Woman alleges Crow Creek police wrongfully caused 2017 death

Crow Creek reservation.jpg
The Crow Creek Indian Reservation. (Republic file photo)

FORT THOMPSON — A Fort Thompson woman filed a federal lawsuit Jan. 16 alleging that a Crow Creek police officer's actions led to the wrongful death of her husband in 2017.

Candace Bishop, wife of Charles Bishop Jr. and the personal representative for his estate, is suing the federal government for $1.06 million.

Terry Pechota, the Rapid City-based attorney who is representing the estate and Candace, told The Daily Republic on Wednesday that the full series of events that preceded Charles' death is not currently known. According to the complaint, at about 11 p.m. on March 3, 2017, a Crow Creek police officer brought Charles to his home and left him on the porch with a bloody nose and blood on his shirt.

The following morning, Charles was found unresponsive on the porch and was taken by ambulance to the Sanford Medical Center, where he was put on life support. He was declared brain dead on March 5 and removed from life support March 6.

Charles was 54 when he died, and the complaint states he could've been expected to live another 25 years. Candace Bishop argues the police officer with whom Charles had contact on the night of March 3 unlawfully exercised jurisdiction over a non-tribal member, used excessive force, failed to seek medical attention, abandoned Charles when medical attention was needed and failed to consult with medical personnel, all ultimately contributing to pain, suffering and fatal injuries.

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The federal government is named as the defendant in the case because Crow Creek's law enforcement is run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Candace filed an administrative claim seeking $1.06 million in damages on Jan. 11. The claim, which is required to be filed prior to filing a lawsuit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, was denied on Aug. 6.

The government has 60 days after the complaint's filing date to file a response. A document filed Tuesday indicated Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell will be representing the U.S. in the case.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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