A group in Custer Park is using Independence Day as an opportunity to exercise their freedom of speech.
Local advocates are calling for the re-opening of a case closed years ago.
The family of George “Ryan” Gipp Jr., who was shot and killed by federal officers on the Standing Rock Reservation, says he deserves justice.
The gathering in Custer Park Saturday was led by Gipp’s younger brother, Henry, who made the trip from his home in Fargo because he says our state’s top officials in the capital city need to hear this story.
“We’re out here trying to get justice. Our family is stuck, we’re stuck emotionally with this. We have to move forward, and we can’t. We try to enjoy ourselves on the weekend, for holidays, but we’re missing… we’re missing somebody. For what? For what?” shared Henry Gipp.
Ryan, as he’s known by family and friends, was killed by two Bureau of Indian Affairs agents in October 2017.
An investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nebraska cleared officers Raymond Webb and Gary Sandland Jr., who said Gipp walked toward them with his hands in his pockets and failed to follow orders.
Then in October of 2019, Gipp’s family filed a lawsuit that says he was unarmed and was not a threat. It says that Gipp was tasered without warning, and ran into a nearby ditch “to escape the pain” when he was shot at least five times in the back.
Henry Gipp says there are multiple civil lawsuits in the works right now, but that’s not what it’s about right now. The marchers, and their signs– are calling for third-party authorities to review the case again, and Gipp says, the family wants to see dashcam footage from the shooting.
“That’s why we’re here, man. We just want the truth, man. And if the police department is hiding, is protecting these police officers for whatever reason, then everybody should be held accountable, everybody,” Henry Gipp explained.
BIA officials did not return an email message seeking comment.
Gipp says this call to action doesn’t stop today. He says they will continue to march and write officials until they believe justice is served.