Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Grieving Mom Cries for Help: Says Local Media and Police Chief Wrongfully Blame Her for Her Baby’s Death

By: Evelyn Red Lodge

Mackey with son Lucus (Photo courtesy Monique Mackey)

Rapid City – A sobbing mother who lost her 3-year-old son in a vehicle accident on Friday and has most of her immediate family in intensive care today called Last Real Indians to report disturbing news.

She began, “Please help me. I lost my baby, and the Rapid City Journal is making it sound like I was drunk and killed my baby.”

Once she could speak again she said, “The Rapid City Journal posted my son’s name in the story and I didn’t even have time to notify everyone. The accident happened at 2:30 p.m. and the Journal posted that story too soon. Then the writer said I was in the accident. I was in Rapid City when it (the accident) happened. And there’s more.”

Last Real Indians found that the RCJ posted an online story: (http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/rollover-near-red-shirt-kills-toddler-injures-six/article_35929e1a-9660-11e1-b89c-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story) about her son at 9:16 p.m. on Friday. According to Mackey’s statement about the time of the accident, it was less than seven hours from the time the accident occurred, and the accident occurred more than an hour’s drive from Rapid City. The accident occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, according to the RCJ.

Once factoring in the time it took for her to be contacted and reach the Rapid City Regional Hospital, the timeframe narrows, and other factors narrow this even more.

Mackey continued, “I was at the hospital for three hours before I found out my baby was dead.” She began to cry and said, “And the way I found out….”

She spoke again saying, “I kept asking the hospital staff where my baby was. They wouldn’t tell me. All they did was take me to my daughter’s room. About three hours later a man came in and said he was from the FBI. I asked him where my son was. He just said, ‘Your son’s dead. There’s an investigation. I’ll be back.’”

The time frame narrows to a conservative estimate of four hours from the time Mackey found out herself that her son had passed and the RCJ online publication.

The RCJ story reported the comments of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety Police Chief, Richard Greenwald, stating the mother of the three-year-old was in the accident.

Mackey said of the RCJ report, “It’s all lies. I didn’t kill my baby.”

RCJ quoted Greenwald’s statement: “None of the vehicle’s seven occupants was wearing a seat belt, and all were thrown from the vehicle. All occupants of the vehicle, including (the boy’s) mother and his 5-year-old sister, were injured in the crash, Greenwald said.”

(A commonly known practice amongst the Lakota is not to say a person’s name after they pass to the next world, although the boy’s name appears in the RCJ story.)

Mackey said Greenwald’s misinformed statement tells people that if she was there, she was in the very least negligent and responsible for the harm that came to her children as her five-year-old daughter is still in intensive care.

A comment in reply on this story in the RCJ online version (Dakota605said on: May 5, 2012, 1:49 pm) says in part, “Peppermint, not so much the location of the accident goes into factoring whether or not alcohol was involved…but more-so the evidence strewn about the scene (booze bottles, etc), and the apparent intoxication of the driver and/or occupants (sans the 3 year old, obviously).”

Here, inferences are drawn from the story, which were not reported in the story although Greenwald mentions that, “alcohol likely was a factor.”

It is commonly known that the RCJ has a policy in place for anonymous comments to be posted about the stories online.

Mackey said she was not aware of the posting about the accident until yesterday when friends alerted her to the online post and the paper version which was distributed yesterday.

Mackey said her friend drew the inference from the RCJ story that she was responsible for her son’s death.

As Mackey is grieving, Last Real Indians did not press her for other details. However, she did say, “I don’t know how to handle this. I lost my baby and my daughter had to have plastic surgery on her face and has a broken arm. My relatives are all in intensive care. I have funeral arrangements tomorrow. And, now I have to deal with these lies. Please, just help me on this.”

Mackey claims she has tried to call the RCJ writer of the story to have the story taken off the internet and could not reach anyone.

Last Real Indians left a message for a return call on the writer’s published phone number and left a message on Greenwald’s phone just before 1:00 p.m. local time. No messages were returned by 6:00 p.m.

Mackey is a former editor for a local Native newspaper. She said, “One last thing, the paper at RCJ goes out at midnight so, it was out there just after midnight on Friday.”

(Contact Evelyn Red Lodge at welakota@yahoo.com)