Monday, September 6, 2010

UPDATED - "Byzantine" jurisdicitional issues hinder law enforcement in Native American communities

An amazing AP report came out yesterday. There are all kinds of copyright restrictions so I won't quote anything here. But go to the link and give it a read.

Race is the real, legal factor in deciding jurisdiction when a Native American is involved in a case, whether as victim or suspect. A mind numbing matrix of possibilities emerge.

UPDATE: Read the first comment by Archer of the Forest. Then extrapolate the situation to a case like rape or murder and you get the idea.

1 comment:

The Archer of the Forest said...

It's truly bizarre, unless you have lived there and witnessed the whole system, you can't get your head around it. (Even if you have, you probably can't...)

Case in point (this is absolutely true): When I worked out on Rosebud one summer in seminary, there was this fiasco involving a dead dog in Mission, SD, part of which is Reservation jurisdiction and part of it is general civic jurisdiction. The dog died right on on the jurisdiction. People had called animal control and the police and all sorts of government agencies to come remove this dead dog.

Because the dead dog was literally right on the jurisdiction line, half in one/half in another, no government entity (tribe or city) would take responsibility on removing this carcass. It got so absurd (and the newspaper was eating this story up because it was so ridiculous) that various agencies were going around the neighborhood trying to determine if it was a "White" dog or an "Indian" dog so that the appropriate civic authority would take care of it.

This went on for a month at least. And this was in the middle of a particularly hot summer. There was a dead dog update in the paper. It was just truly bizarre.

And get this: neither side ever did anything! Someone in the middle of the night was just tired of dealing with a now rotten carcass that it disappeared overnight. No one ever claimed responsibility.

Talk about dysfunction.

Good grief, Charlie Brown!