What happened next to the young Arapaho girl is unspeakable in its attempt to humiliate and traumatize. She was hauled to the Morton County jail, strip searched, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, and charged with criminal trespass and engaging in a riot. The girl who was joining the ranks of her elders and ancestors in a violent rite of passage pleaded not guilty and spent the night in jail with Alder Kemble. Kemble is also facing additional charges of criminal trespass, including engaging in a riot, preventing arrest or discharge of other duties and tampering with evidence. The next day both were released on $250 cash bonds and will meet again at a jury trial on January 12.
Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier is the official who sets the tone for police actions in Morton County North Dakota. He alone determines how prisoners are treated. He holds the authority to enforce humane treatment or encourage cruelty designed to instill fear, humiliation, embarrassment and shame. And shame is the ultimate weapon--utilized by the narcissist in a pitiful attempt to gain control and break the spirit of his victims.
In this case, the water protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline are refusing to be spiritually victimized. At least 140 have been arrested, stripped, and forced to "squat and cough" with a voyeuristic officer watching. Why the "squat and cough?" The observing officer watches to see if anything is hidden in the rectum of the detainee. The orange jumpsuit is the final insult, designed to remove a sense of individuality.
Alder Kemble writes about this experience and its psychological consequences in her blog. She went so far as to ask for advice about what she calls "an outrage hangover" on her Facebook page. This is how she explained the feelings she is having.
I'm doing ok in the course of daily life. What's happening is that when I talk about what I experienced and witnessed in North Dakota, which I'm doing a lot (sic) (media interviews, reporting back to folks, etc.), I work to center and calm myself, but at some point a small detail strikes me in a new way and I am transformed into a channel for the fury of the ages. The passion rushes through my system leaving me spent.
The woman with decades of life experience is having difficulty processing the humiliation and violence condoned by Sheriff Kirchmeier.
In a separate conversation Kemble told us that besides being strip searched, she was not allowed to wear her bra under the orange jumpsuit because it had an underwire. She had to unfasten her "scrawny" braids and was not allowed to put them back in. The attempt at dehumanization was complete.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault endured the same shame at the hands of deputies and had his braids taken out. He told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!that the officer(s) were looking for weapons hidden in his braids. Like the young Arapaho girl, this was the first time he had ever been arrested. Archambault, like Alder Kemble, is an adult with decades of experience. How in the world is a 19-year-old expected to deal with such violence and humiliation? Is the Sheriff proud of his vicious campaign of aggression and humiliation--a crusade of human rights abuses ordered against a defenseless teenager?
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