Trial begins for man accused of racial slurs at hockey game

On Wednesday, the trial began for a South Dakota man accused of verbally abusing Native American Children.

Trace O’Connell, 41, has been charged with disorderly conduct following an incident at a Rapid City Rush Hockey game in January. O’Connell was accused of using racial slurs and spraying Native American children with beer. The incident spurred a number of protests, with critics calling the charge of Disorderly Conduct too lenient.

The trial is a bench trial, meaning there is no jury. The trial is being held at a school theatre to accommodate the expected large crowds.

O’Connell has pleaded Not Guilty to the incident.