U.S. Department of the InteriorOffice of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - News Release

Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs

Date: September 12, 2008
Contact: Nedra Darling

Bureau of Indian Affairs Officer Wounded Responding to Domestic Violence Call on the Standing Rock Reservation

WASHINGTON - Deputy Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Office of Justice Services, Pat Ragsdale, announced today that Sergeant Louis Troy Poitra, a police officer training instructor from the Indian Police Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, is recuperating from a bullet wound in his leg.  The investigation of the incident by BIA and FBI authorities is on going. 

Sergeant Poitra was on duty as a squad leader with the Operation Dakota Peacekeeper mission, serving on his second 30-day detail on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  This mission entails the BIA sending additional personnel to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to help combat the high rate of crime and to utilize community-policing tactics to carry out the mission of the deployment and objectives of the operation.

In the early morning hours of September 10, he responded to a call for law enforcement assistance regarding a domestic disturbance in the Little Eagle Community on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Upon Sgt. Poitra’s arrival at the scene, an assailant fired rifle shots which struck his police vehicle and wounded Poitra. Nonetheless, Sergeant Poitra secured the suspected assailant, the suspected assailant’s weapon and remained at the scene until the arrival of a National Park Service Police Officer and a Cherokee Nation Marshal.  Both officers who responded to the scene to assist Poitra are detailed to the Dakota Peacekeeper mission.  The officer and the suspected assailant, who was also injured by a gunshot, were transported to a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota.

“I am very proud of Sergeant Poitra and everyone associated with this mission.  This reminds us all of the dedication, bravery and sacrifice of police officers that serve Indian country and our communities all over America,” said Ragsdale.  BIA’s Regional Special Agent in Charge, Elmer Four Dance, echoed Ragsdale’s comments and said, “We are so fortunate to have this caliber of individuals serving Indian communities.”

Sergeant Poitra is 27 years of age, has worked for the BIA for the past 6 years; is a member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, is married, and has two children.

— DOI —