**Indigenous Peoples Challenge Chief of Police to Act with Compassion and Professionalism*
COLUMBUS, OHIO- On Monday, June 2, 2008 after trekking over 2400 miles on foot, participants of the Northern Route of The Longest Walk 2, were violently attacked by Columbus Ohio police as men, women and children walked through the town carrying sacred prayer staffs and the message "All Life is Sacred". Without communicating with the, who were notified of The Longest Walk passing through , Ohio, city police swiftly and forcefully arrived with squad cars and arrest wagons and began assaulting the peaceful walkers.
Eight police cars surrounded the walkers as the group walked into the parking lane and up onto the sidewalk of Main Street. A police officer approached a vehicle providing support to walkers, reached into the window and grabbed the steering wheel. The police officer yelled at the young woman driving a carload of young children and threatened to place the children in
As dozens of police hastily approached the walkers, Michael Lane (Menominee) was targeted by police with a taser, which was held three feet away from Lane's head in front of his wife and young daughter.
Taser Guns are supposed to be aimed away from the head and towards major muscle groups.
Luv the Mezenger, who acted as road safety for the walkers, was physically assaulted and thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Luv has been a peacekeeper on the walk since departing on February 11th and walked over a stretch of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on snowshoes.
Michael Lane, a veteran walker from the 1978 Longest walk arrived on the walk with his wife, Sharon Heta, Tuhoe (Maori Tribal Nation), and their children from New Zealand approximately two months ago.
Lane, who holds a law degree from the Arizona State University, stated the worst part of being targeted by a police officer with a taser was that it terrified his young daughter who was unaware that it was a being held to their father's head – she only knew that a gun was being pointed at her father's head. This violent action caused severe emotional distress for the women and children that were witness to these events.
Across the continent, police-induced deaths from tasers have dramatically increased from overzealous. Luv suffered minor injuries from the police attack. Police made no arrests.
As the walkers have endured the natural elements, they have walked through the snow, extreme rain,straight-line winds, blazing heat, lightning storms and near misses by tornadoes. Often tired, hungry, thirsty and sore, they have been peacefully accepted into Native and Non-Native communities, and this is the first experience of extreme police harassment.
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