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RCPD traffic stop escalates with confrontation

Nick Tilsen confronted two officers, who were on NDN Collective, private property, with expletives and demands to leave.
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:37 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Another confrontation between local law enforcement and local Native American activist Nick Tilsen.

While issuing a ticket during a routine traffic stop Monday, a confrontation occurred. But not between Rapid City police and the driver.

“Off our property, right now,” said Tilsen, president and CEO of NDN Collective. “This is private property, get the f*** off of it.

“Don’t come back here,” continued Tilsen. “In fact, don’t come onto NDN Collective property unannounced again motherf*******. This is our land b******.”

Nick Tilsen confronted two officers, who were on NDN Collective, private property, with expletives and demands to leave.

Last month NDN Collective activists were arrested for scaling the granary, private property, during a July 4th protest.

So did the officers have the right to be on Tilsen’s property?

Or were they in the wrong?

“If we’re on the private property for a lawful and legal reason, we can be on that property,” said Scott Sitts, a captain with Rapid City Police Department. “In this case, the traffic stop, that’s where it ended up, we’re there legally and lawfully and if the business owner wants us to move, we can definitely move.”

The officers left the situation and the property, returning to the roadway.

Captain Sitts said this is part of the job and the training but that confrontation isn’t necessary.

“You can’t interfere with an investigation and you can’t hinder the officer from the performance of their duties,” continued Sitts. “However, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and everyone has first amendment protections. But really, it’s not conducive to the point you’re trying to get across.”

RCPD’s public information officer referred to this situation as a window into the everyday lives of law enforcement.

Tilsen declined an interview and said a press release would be coming out from NDN Collective.

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