Activists halt Tuesday beer delivery in Whiteclay
Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins says over two dozen anti-alcohol activists vandalized Whiteclay liquor stores Tuesday morning. They also threatened to damage a beer delivery truck, forcing the distributor's employees to head back to Scottsbluff without delivering any product.
Robbins says the stores were spray painted and doors were padlocked by the activists, who the Sheriff said were not Native Americans from the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation. The presence of Robbins and his deputies along with extra personnel from the Nebraska State Patrol kept any violence from occurring.
State Patrol Lt. Jamey Balthazor says troopers were "very, very busy" both Monday and Tuesday with the protesters in the Whiteclay area. Troopers responded to the area Monday after the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office indicated the protesters were getting physical with Deputies. The report says when troopers arrived the protesters had moved north of the state line and had four cars blocking the roadway, not letting anyone into South Dakota.
Alcohol is currently banned on the Pine Ridge Reservation but is sold at 4 stores in Whiteclay which is adjacent to the reservation. But a recent tribal vote approved reversing the alcohol ban, although it is not clear when it takes effect.
Things had reportedly calmed down recently, and beer distributors who had forced Whiteclay store owners to pick up their beer in Rushville have been delivering beer again directly to the stores.
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