Category Archives: Law

Arizona Border Patrol Car Hits Native…And Keeps Going!

“Tensions flared on Friday between federal authorities in Arizona and residents of a Native American reservation straddling the border with Mexico after a video surfaced in which a Border Patrol vehicle appears to hit a man from the tribe before driving away.” S. Romer, The New York Times

U.S.-Mexico border.

Excerpt: U.S Border Patrol ran over an O’odham man today By Simon Romer, NYT

“The video, which was recorded on the phone of the victim, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation identified as Paulo Remes, spread quickly on social media after several tribe members and Indivisible Tohono, an organization focused on the impact of border policies, posted the footage on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to see video on Twitter

‘They just ran me over, bro,’ Mr. Remes is heard saying on the video. He told The Arizona Daily Star that he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries from the incident, which took place on Tohono O’odham land about 60 miles southwest of Tucson. Mr. Remes appeared to be standing in a dirt road facing the vehicle when it made contact, knocking him to the ground. Mr. Remes told the newspaper that the driver of the vehicle did not stop.

Leaders of the tribe have expressed opposition to Trump’s pledge to build a wall through their land along the border. Largely because officials strengthened security at other points along the border, the reservation of the Tohono O’odham has emerged as an important transit point for unauthorized immigrants and drug traffickers, leading to frequent encounters with law enforcement and the Border Patrol…Robert G. Daniels, a spokesman in Arizona for the Border Patrol, said the agency was not able to release the identity of the agent involved in the episode; the video seems to show the vehicle speeding away after the victim is hit. ‘All I can say is that this incident is under investigation,’ Mr. Daniels said.

Edward D. Manuel, the chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, said in a statement that the victim is 34 years old. Mr. Manuel, who did not identify the victim by name, added that the tribe’s police department was investigating the incident together with the F.B.I. and the United States Attorney’s Office.”

 

Category: Law, Social

Natives in the Hamptons Fight for Right to Catch (Very Expensive) Fish

“Shinnecock Indians have fished the local waters here on the East End of Long Island since before European settlers first appeared in the 1600s, up through its evolution into the wealthy summer playground known as the Hamptons. So David Taobi Silva, 42, a tribal member who lives on the reservation just outside of Southampton village, says that when he harvests fish locally, he needs no commercial license from New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation and is exempt from its strict regulations to protect fish populations.But that is not how the state sees it — and the result is a clash between contemporary rules and ancient customs.” C. Kilgannon, The New York Times

David Taobi Silva, a Shinnecock Indian, stood on a dock within the Shinnecock Reservation in Long Island, near where he received a ticket for illegal fishing.

Excerpt: Indians in the Hamptons Stake Claim to a Tiny Eel With a Big Payday, By Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times

“Two Environmental Conservation officers got a tip last year that Mr. Silva had stretched a long net in a creek off the reservation. They found him at night harvesting an elusive and valuable catch: the nearly invisible tiny eels that wriggle into the headwaters of local bays along the Atlantic coast for several weeks each spring.

These toothpick-size eels, also called elvers or glass eels for their translucent bodies, can bring staggering prices in Asian markets, up to $2,500 per pound in a peak market.

Mr. Silva had been harvesting elvers, or glass eels. The eels can bring up to $2,500 per pound in a peak market. Credit Robert F. Bukaty:Associated Press

They are illegal to harvest in New York, a regulation state officials call vital in protecting a depleted population. But Mr. Silva told the officers that he was free to gather the eels, citing an aboriginal right to fish locally that is based on Shinnecock tradition and ancient treaties that predate and supersede government laws.

Mr. Silva had been harvesting elvers, or glass eels. The eels can bring up to $2,500 per pound in a peak market. Credit Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

‘We’ve been fishing here forever, so it’s hard for me to understand that it has suddenly become illegal for Shinnecock people,’ said Mr. Silva, who was nevertheless charged with illegally harvesting the eels.

The officers seized his nets. And though the several hundred tiny eels added up to perhaps a fistful, they were still worth $500, said Mr. Silva, who now faces possible fines that could exceed $80,000…The eels have sparked a gold rush hysteria and a related reality show in Maine, which has restricted catch quotas.

In 2016, federal and state agents conducted a four-year investigation they called “Operation Broken Glass,” and charged dealers and fishermen across several Atlantic states with trafficking nearly $2 million in elvers, which are flown live to Asian aquaculture companies and raised for use as seafood delicacies (sushi and sashimi).

Mr. Silva plans on citing cases in which local courts have recognized Shinnecock fishermen’s exemption from state regulations, and federal cases in which Indian treaties were deemed to have superseded state laws.”

Category: Law

Dine College to Train More Navajo Police as Crime Increases on Rez

“The Navajo Nation banned alcohol from its reservation more than a century ago. But that hasn’t stopped people from drinking and in more recent years, doing drugs.The lack of jobs makes bootlegging and dealing meth, marijuana and cocaine all the more appealing. More substance abuse has led to a surge in violent crimes. And the tribe’s police officers say they’re overwhelmed.” L. Morales, Fronterasnavajo police

Excerpt: Diné College to train police officers, The Navajo Times

“Diné College is developing a plan to train police officers and establish a new police academy, according to a press release from the college. The initiative stems from a June 28 meeting between Diné College leaders and the Navajo Nation’s Law and Order Committee. Navajo Nation Police Sgt. Stanley Ashley stated at the meeting, The lack of police officers is a huge concern.

Navajo Nation police officers meet at Dine’ College for an academy status update. Photo: Tribal college

Navajo Nation police officers meet at Dine’ College for an academy status update. Photo: Tribal college

Inspired by the committee’s commitment to this imperative, Diné College is immediately pursuing a historic multi-state compact to fast-track the preparation of a significant number of new police officers for the Navajo Nation, the release states. The college will partner with communities, institutions, and other key entities in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

This plan, according to the release, will develop and implement a memorandum of understanding among all key stakeholders which will be centered on providing tailored educational services to prepare law enforcement professionals — as well as on securing land, facilities, equipment, and technology required to establish a state-of-the-art Navajo Nation Police Academy.”

RELATED:

Why Was There a Delay in Amber Alert for Ashlynne Mike?  U.S.News

Gunman Leaves Two-State trail of chaos Navajo Times

Recent Navajo Police Officer Deaths Expose Increased Violence By L. Morales, Fronteras News

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

“When I was growing up I remember a Navajo hungry or thirsty another Navajo will pick him up and feed him give him water,” What’s today’s world? You get beat up or you get killed. These are Navajos I’m talking about. Society is changing.”  ~Former Navajo President Ben Shelly~

Category: Law

Natives Ask President Obama To Pardon Leonard Peltier

“Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American serving two consecutive life sentences and imprisoned for over 40 years, remains a lightening rod in the Native American fight for human rights. When arrested he was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an advocacy group and movement concerned with Native American rights and justice.” M. Muhammad, Finalcall.com

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier

Excerpt: A Call for President Obama To Pardon Native American freedom Fighter,  By Michael Muhammad, Finalcall.com

“According to the organization’s website, AIM is first a spiritual movement, a religious rebirth, and then the rebirth of pride and dignity of a people. The organization emphasizes self-determination.

In 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members, two FBI agents were shot dead. Mr. Peltier was convicted of their murders, but has always said he is innocent. To some he is a hero and to others he is painted as a thug.

Amnesty International has studied his case extensively over many years and remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to his trial and conviction. Amnesty believes political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted.

Photo- oregonlive

Photo- oregonlive

In fact, the Commission has repeatedly denied parole on the grounds that Mr. Peltier did not accept criminal responsibility for the murders of the two FBI agents…Given the current climate of police misconduct, a failed criminal justice system pockmarked with injustices against Black and Native American people it is hoped President Obama will take a serious look at the clemency request, supporters say.”

“Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, “I didn’t do it.” Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies.”  ~Leonard Peltier~ Prison Writings

Category: Law

Tribes Split Over Legalization of Pot

“When it comes to marijuana laws, the Justice Department is now treating American Indian tribes the way it treats states that have legalized pot. The move, announced in December, has inadvertently sparked interest in the marijuana business. While many see dollar signs, others worry about contributing to the impact substance abuse has already had on Indian Country.” L. Morales, NPR

Havasupai Tribe Chairman Rex Tilousi was relieved to hear the Justice Department was recognizing tribal sovereignty when it comes to marijuana. NPR

Havasupai Tribe Chairman Rex Tilousi was relieved to hear the Justice Department was recognizing tribal sovereignty when it comes to marijuana. NPR

Excerpt: Pot Policy Splits Native Americans By Laurel Morales NPR

“Havasupai Tribe Chairman Rex Tilousi says he was relieved to hear the Justice Department was recognizing tribal sovereignty when it comes to marijuana.

The Havasupai people have been living in the Grand Canyon for at least 800 years. Photo-omgfacts.com

The Havasupai people have been living in the Grand Canyon for at least 800 years. Photo-omgfacts.com

His tribe has grown and smoked marijuana plants for over a century near the Grand Canyon…The Havasupai make what little money they have by taking visitors on mule and helicopter to see their famous turquoise-blue waterfalls.

 The Havasupai  see pot legalization as an alternative economic source. NPR

The Havasupai see pot legalization as an alternative economic source. NPR

However, tourism is seasonal. Tilousi says having another economic source — like growing and selling medical marijuana — would help his people.

Some tribes worry about contributing to the existing problem of substance abuse. PhotoThe dailybeast

Some tribes worry about contributing to the existing problem of substance abuse. PhotoThe dailybeast

Since the Justice Department’s memo was released, FoxBarry Farms has been inundated with more than a hundred calls from tribes that want to start growing operations.

All tribes, generally speaking, want the same thing — and that’s economic independence, says Barry Brautman, the president of FoxBarry, which helps tribes build casinos, hotels and, now, medical marijuana operations.

They want housing, health care, education, They want to be able to fund those things themselves without having to ask for government’s assistance.

The Pomo Nation, will be the first to grow and manufacture medical marijuana.

The Pomo Nation, will be the first to grow and manufacture medical marijuana.

A tiny northern California tribe, the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, will be the first to grow and manufacture medical marijuana. FoxBarry Farms is helping the tribe build a $10 million grow house.

“I felt very free,” he says. “I don’t have to hide behind that rock. I don’t have to go into those bushes to smoke.” ~ Havasupai Tribe Chairman Rex Tilousi~

Category: Law