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Darrell House vs. National Park Service et. al.


Content warning: police brutality/misconduct

On December 27, 2020, Darrell House visited the Petroglyph National Monument with his sister and small dog, Geronimo. Darrell went to “pray and honor the earth, consistent with his traditional religious and spiritual practices as a Diné (Navajo) and Oneida person.”


The December 2020 hike quickly turned traumatic when they stepped off the trail to practice safe physical distancing during a pandemic. A National Park Service (NPS) officer noticed them off-trail, ordered them back on trail, and followed them as they walked towards the trail. Once Darrell had already complied and returned to the trail, the NPS officer demanded identification. In the wake of the death of George Floyd and other cases of police misconduct and brutality across the nation in 2020, Darrell refused and started calling for help from other hikers. NPS Officer Graden called for backup and moments later, tasered an unarmed Darrell House. Darrell’s life has been impacted directly by this incident, including a diagnosis of acute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) shortly after the incident in January 2021.

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On December 21, 2022, WPLC filed a civil complaint on behalf of Darrell House (Diné and Oneida) against the National Park Service (NPS) and other Defendants including the City of Albuquerque, U.S. Department of Interior, Secretary of Interior, NPS Director, and NPS Officers Graden and Wineland, for violation of his civil rights and constitutional rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and seeks judicial review of the NPS decision finding no wrongdoing by NPS Officers under the Administrative Procedures Act. WPLC is joined by past WPLC board member and legendary civil rights attorney, Jeffrey Haas, who represented Black Panther Fred Hampton, as co-counsel in representing Darrell.



Content warning: police brutality/misconduct

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