Press Release

Wilderness Society response to video showing park ranger tasing a Native man at Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyphs on the shady side of a rock in a sparsely vegetated desert landscape

Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico

jpellgen, Flickr

An alarming video has been released from an incident over the weekend at Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, NM.

The video shows a National Park Service ranger repeatedly tasing an unarmed Native American man and Marine veteran, Darrell House, even after the man was on the ground and pleading for help. The Wilderness Society has engaged in years of work to improve the management of this monument, which was set aside to honor the sacredness of the petroglyphs and to protect the cultural importance of these homelands for Native people. 

The following is a statement in response from The Wilderness Society’s New Mexico State Director, Michael Casaus:  

“Watch the video. Our eyes do not deceive us about what we see taking place on public lands. The National Park Service must commit to a fair, open, and independent investigation of these actions. Park rules are there for protecting the lands but the enforcement of those policies should not come at the expense of protecting the humanity of all those who visit, especially if these are their traditional homelands. 

Our parks and open spaces should be welcoming and inclusive places of healing and comfort, yet they are not for so many, especially for Black and Indigenous people and people of color. The original purpose of the monument was to protect and promote the understanding of the petroglyphs in relation to the cultural and natural features of the West Mesa and to further the heritage of traditional communities connected to these lands. Petroglyph National Monument is a place where Native people should be able to visit and honor the past, the present and the future on the very lands their ancestors stood without fear for their safety.” 


CONTACT: 

Michael Casaus, New Mexico state director, The Wilderness Society, (505) 417-5288, [email protected]

Jennifer Dickson, Senior Communications Manager, The Wilderness Society, (720) 647-9417, [email protected]