Local residents react to Whiteclay liquor license ruling

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WHITECLAY, Neb. (KNEP) - Whiteclay is a community that's been plagued for decades with assaults, fights, loitering and human trafficking, but with the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission ruling on Wednesday, that all could change.

Whiteclay, Nebraska

Whiteclay resident, Abram Neumann, testified in front of the liquor commission earlier this month and says he’s glad his voice was heard.

“There were many times that the police have been called and they haven't shown up. I've seen a lot of people who I would consider friends here in Whiteclay die over the years that I've been here,” said Neumann.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation resident, William McLaughlin, comes to Whiteclay to drink, but he believes the ruling is a good thing.

“I'm glad it happened. God stepped in, I’m glad it's done you know, I won't be coming up here no more, maybe it'll stop my drinking you know, that's what I'm thinking,” McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin says the ruling is God’s way of putting his foot down.

“I'm glad God stopped it, the only one who stepped in is the biggest foot in the world, god. He stopped it, we don't need this,” added McLaughlin.

Neumann said he’s hopeful for the future of the Whiteclay community.

“I'd say the thing that I'm most excited about is the opportunity to create new businesses and services to employ residents of the reservation and rebuild everything that was lost here,” said Neumann.

All four liquor store owners in Whiteclay refused to comment on the ruling. Attorney for Whiteclay’s “State Line Liquor” store, Andrew Snyder, says they intend to appeal the decision immediately. Snyder said the decision is contrary to Nebraska law and politically motivated with pressure directly from the Governor’s office.