If you haven't seen Wind River, the movie...you should.
You should also see the place. Beautiful. But there are troubles and struggles. The movie was released last year. I have watched it probably 10 times already. I know. I'm weird. Same as Dances With Wolves. More so with that one, actually. So Jeremy Renner is perfect. He could not have been better. So was everyone else. Except the cops should not have stood at the front of the door when knocking x 2. But that is minor. It is very realistic and sends out a much needed message. Go see it.
In the meantime, here is a throw back from a battle at the Events Center stemming from some interviews I had while waiting on the detectives. This happened long before Wind River was ever a script.
WAR OFF the REZ
Saturday night was quiet..too quiet.
At about 8:00 pm...the night changed to chaos. Looking for a drunk driver was about all I had for excitement. The radio blared with units to clear to a fight involving 100 people at the Events Center. Knives, bats, and blood. One person already was reported to have a knife in his back.
Highway patrol, deputies, police from two other suburbs, city police...all responding. When I arrived, it looked like an 1800s battle. Sarge called it the reenactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
People fighting on the grassy knoll..tumbling down...beating one another..not like the grassy knoll on which the mafia claimed to have shot at the Kennedys, but like General Custer...parking lot, sidewalk...inside the facility.
Most of the cops were forming a riot line. There was no control of the crowd. Control was not maintained by anyone. It was a free for all. Crazy.
The Events Center staff later told us they had never seen anything like it.
As I exited my g-ride, I plopped my pepper spray in my cargo pocket. It was the big fogger can. My stick was extended and I was ready to draw if I had to, but I didn't see anyone brandishing any weapons...just chaos and screaming. My hopes were that I could just push through the crowd to the wounded. I knew my pepper spray would probably have to be my throw down weapon once used up or if I needed to draw my gun. As I drove my way through the crowd, I saw the victim with the knife in his back. It was not superficial, just barely stuck type of thing. It was all the way in. He had a punctured lung and the ambulance crew was trying to attend to him while two Native Americans were rushing the ambulance crew.
Soon some CPD cops were throwing them off so the paramedics could stabilize the victim.
Two other Native American males ran my direction. I tried to snatch them up and they fought and ran, but I caught the slow one. He was a witness and was later taken to the police station where I received an education on the war that was brewing on the Rez...over 100 miles away.
Once the crowd dispersed, the witnesses were taken to the station. My transport had a flowery disposition as well as the same type of past. He told me his story and I listened intently because if he were to even talk to a white woman...let alone a cop...that was something. He said I reminded him of his PO (probation officer). I asked him if that was good or bad and he said, "You're alright."
"I can tell you're different."
He laughed and asked me why I was so at ease with him and treated him with kindness and respect. I said, "I've been around a long time...don't get stirred up..and it's not like you're a monster."
"How do you know you're not staring one right in the eyes?"
"I don't. But I can just tell you have some good in you even if you are naughty."
He smirked and told me he would have turned out different if his grandmother, an Arapaho woman, wouldn't have saved him. He said he is still bad, that he can't help it and defending family honor makes him commit crimes.
I nodded my head and told him I understood it was his way. It still didn't prevent me from doing my job and he nodded his head and said he understood I had to do what I had to do, but the police weren't going to stop him from doing what he had to do.
When he was 14, he was arrested for arson and grand larceny. He told me he went to his own house after he found out his mother was beaten to kill his stepfather who was the assailant. He stole all the money and a gun and burned the place down, but his stepfather got out alive. His mother, a battered woman, helped her son. She went to prison for his crimes. Her son was sent to the rez.
His crime spree didn't end there.
He didn't show me his criminal side while we were waiting for the detective. I listened, acting like I was half interested-only I was enthralled as he told me this matter would be taken to the rez where he would be avenging his family. He said it would end in murder. The feud stemmed back years prior to some unsolved homicides...wrong doings, rapes, and fights...three families at war...two tribes. The battles have escalated to several assaults, rapes, and even death.
We weren't able to convince him or any of his family that the police should handle the matter. Deep down inside, it was frustrating but somehow I understood where he was coming from when he said it was their way.
The FBI and BIA were notified. They already had word of the threats to take matters into their own hands on tribal land.
All I could really do was listen and forward important information to the proper channels. If he wanted to talk and share, I listened. Of course I didn't take notes. What kind of cop do you think I am? He wouldn't talk to me if I was writing shit down.
Yes, everything was legal and by the book. I'm not a shady cop, just a good listener when it matters. I have a special place in my heart for Native Americans because of my grandfather. I don't understand all the current ways and whys, but I cherish their old ways and appreciation for nature.
Just remember Gannet Peak...the highest peak in Wyoming. I've been there. Have you?