Tribal officials continued to meet Monday with protesters who have peacefully occupied the elderly meals building in Porcupine since March 4, according to Capt. Milt Bianis of the Oglala Sioux Tribe police department.
"We're waiting on the tribe to negotiate with parties involved," Bianis said Monday. Police officers continue to make routine security checks of the building to ensure the safety of all parties, he said.
Bianis said allegations made by the Strong Heart Warrior Society that police were removing or arresting protesters were not true.
"It's totally false that police are removing elderly from the building," he said. "It's business as usual. ... We do go inside the building, making sure there is no vandalism occurring and insuring the safety of all parties involved."
Duane Martin Sr. and other members of the Strong Heart civil rights group accuse the staff of the elderly meals program in Porcupine of elder abuse, including physical threats and assault, psychological abuse, denial of meals, unsanitary conditions and undercooked food. They say they will occupy the tribal building until the tribal administration addresses those complaints.
Bianis said he has no evidence to support allegations of criminal activity allegations made against the program staff.
Porcupine District tribal council representatives did not return phone calls on Monday, nor did other tribal officials, including President John Yellow Bird Steele.