SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A lawyer for a Native American man who claims the letters KKK were carved into his stomach during surgery has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the South Dakota hospital where the operation took place, the hospital’s board of directors and others.
Vern Traversie is a 69-year-old Lakota man who lives on the Cheyenne River reservation in South Dakota. Though he is blind, Traversie says others have told him the scars left after his heart surgery form the letters.
A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
Hundreds of people attended a May rally to show their support for Traversie. Many in attendance said his story is an example of the racism Native Americans feel in Rapid City.
No criminal charges have been brought in the case.
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