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Candlelight vigil honors Anderson Antelope as advocate group and city meet

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Taylar Stagner
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Wyoming Public Radio
The vigil had family members of Anderson Antelope speak, the Eagle Drum Group play, and the Chief of Police Eric Murphy and Mayor Guard were in attendance.

This week a candlelight vigil honors the memory of a Northern Arapaho man whose death has brought scrutiny to how police in Riverton handle cases involving the Indigenous community.

In 2019 Anderson Antelope was shot and killed by a Riverton Police Department officer after an altercation. But many believe the shooting was unnecessary. Since then the Wind River Reservation community has been asking for a policy change from the city on how such things are handled.

Chesie Lee with the Riverton Peace Mission, said they have developed a petition.

“We now have about 150 signatures on that petition and want to gather more asking Riverton city council, please take steps in your policing policies and other actions to make sure that this doesn't happen again,” she said.

The Riverton Peace Mission has also started to meet with Riverton’s city administrators to come up with solutions.

New city administrator Kyle Butterfield, said the groups have met multiple times since he took office a month ago, but are still getting to know each other's concerns.

“I think from the city of Riverton standpoint, there are already federal laws that require the city to not discriminate on the basis of any protected class,” he said.

Since Anderson’s death, the Riverton Peace Mission said there have been no policy changes at the city level to address racism.

The Eagle Drum group played and Nicole Wagon with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person Taskforce had opening remarks.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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