While visiting the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a Native American man was recorded on cellphone video as a park ranger repeatedly fired his Taser at him for walking off the path and refusing to show his identification.
On Sunday, Darrell House, who is Oneida and Navajo, took a walk with his sister and his dog, Geronimo, through the Petroglyph National Monument. According to House, they briefly stepped off the trail to maintain social distancing as a group of hikers approached them.
A park ranger began following House and ordered him to return to the trail. In the first video, House complied but refused to show any identification.
“I didn’t see a reason to give my identification. I don’t need to tell people why I’m coming there to pray and give things in honor to the land. I don’t need permission or consent,” House told NBC News. “And I don’t think he liked that very much.”
When the park ranger informed House that he was being detained for refusing to show his identification, House replied, “You’re not gonna touch me, sir.”
Despite the fact that House was holding his dog in his arms, the park ranger fired his Taser at them.
“I was holding my dog, so my dog got tased as well, he felt the shock, he felt everything. I ended up dropping him when I fell,” House told KRQE. “He wanted to show power, dominance, keep me in order. That’s what authority figures are trained to do, to keep people like me in order. To make the ‘Indian’ look crazy, to make them look insane.”
In the second video, House appears writhing in pain on the ground as the park ranger incessantly fires his Taser at him and orders House to show his hands. House, who is a former Marine, begged for help while showing his empty hands and telling the ranger that he was not carrying any identification on him.
House was later handcuffed, but not placed under arrest. He received three citations for interfering with agency function, false information, and being off-trail.
After the incident, the National Park Service released the following statement: “On December 27, a law enforcement park ranger contacted two visitors who were walking in a closed area off-trail, which is a violation of National Park Service regulations within Petroglyph National Monument. A video capturing part of their interaction and posted to social media has generated question and interest from the public.
“In accordance with National Park Service policy, this incident is under review and has been referred to the NPS Office of Professional Responsibility, our internal affairs unit, for a thorough investigation. While we work to gather the facts of this specific situation, we cannot speculate on the events leading up to what was captured on video. We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously, and appreciate the public’s patience as we gather the facts of this incident.
“Full performance NPS law
enforcement officers complete extensive law enforcement training programs along
with many other Federal law enforcement agencies at the Federal Law Enforcement
Training Center in Georgia, as well as on-the-job training in the NPS Field
Training and Evaluation Program. Throughout their careers, officers complete
required annual training to ensure skills proficiency and current knowledge of
law enforcement issues. Additionally, NPS officers are required to undergo
initial and ongoing specialized training to carry an electronic control device,
commonly known as Tasers.”