February 05, 2010

What Napier is ranting about

I figured Barry Napier didn't know what he was talking about when he compared a bill increasing tribal jurisdiction to "Custer legislation." I suspected he was either exaggerating or lying. Now we have some objective reports on the issue:

Let officers do their jobsThe issue is this: When a cross-deputization agreement between the county and tribe broke down in 2006, tribal officers no longer had the authority to arrest non-tribal citizens on the reservation. Keep in mind that 80 percent of those living on the checkerboard reservation are not members of the tribe. In many cases, crimes have been committed against non-tribal members by non-tribal members, yet because there is no cross-deputization agreement in place, the perpetrators have walked away with impunity. Tribal officers have estimated 100 such crimes a month have been taking place. DUI. Assault. Drug dealing. Domestic violence.

The new law would essentially bypass the cross-deputization requirement so tribal officers could arrest anybody committing a crime on tribal lands, regardless of who's a tribal member and who isn't. As part of the proposed law, the tribe would incur all expenses involved with proper training and liability. One of the potentially contentious points is moot: These crimes would be prosecuted at the state level, not tribal courts. Fines and fees would go to the state, not the tribe.
Human rights group calls for tribal arrest powerA northern Idaho human rights group says 1 of the region's county sheriffs is refusing to cooperate with the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe on law enforcement matters.

As a result, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations Thursday called for legislation to allow Idaho tribal police officers to arrest or cite non-tribal members violating state law on reservations.
Benewah sheriff calls rights group’s letter ‘stupid’

By Betsy Z. RussellThe problem: Without a cross-deputization agreement, tribal police officers can’t arrest non-tribal members, even if they catch them in the act of committing a crime. Instead, they must call on a county deputy or state trooper to make the arrest. Roughly 10,000 people live on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation, but only 1,400 are tribal members. In the Kootenai County portion of the reservation, a cross-deputization agreement is in place; there was a longstanding one in Benewah County until Kirts revoked it in 2007.

Christie Wood, a Coeur d’Alene Police sergeant and first vice president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, wrote in the open letter, “The failure of Sheriff Kirts to work with the tribal police has left citizens in bedlam. Perpetrators have been set free that have committed serious criminal offenses against citizens living in Benewah County. The Tribal Police have documented cases of domestic violence, driving under the influence incidents, criminal assaults, and other criminal offenses that have occurred with no arrests or prosecution.”
Comment:  The proposed legislation doesn't sound so bad now, does it? It doesn't have anything to do with the tribe, Obama, or the New World Order grabbing power, as Napier asserts. It has to do with increasing the effectiveness of law enforcement so more bad guys get arrested.

So yes, Napier is a racist, just as we suspected. He attacked an entire race for legislation that has nothing to do with race--the epitome of racism.


dmarks said...

Law-enforcement matters when dealing with overlaping, competing, and cooperating state, county, town/city , and tribal jurisdictions can quite often be quite complicated. Even without the tribes involved.

Rob said...

A response to Napier's rant:


Utilizing the internet, one can find disgusting comments such as: “Idaho pro-Obama bosses are trying to muscle-through ‘Custer Legislation’, so that the (Red) Indians can at last get their own back on ‘white men--cowboys and Indians all over again.”

Even worse, in my opinion, is that the Idaho Eagle Forum has advised its sympathizers that under the Coeur d’Alene proposal, “If you live within reservation lines the Indians are a nation within a nation and have their own law officers, courts and government you will be under. If you encounter legal problems within the reservation you could not call your sheriff or the state police because they would lose their authority within those boundaries.”

Statements such as those are completely false. They are simply not true in any respect and people must be made aware of this. No person arrested by a Tribal police officer will be prosecuted by anything other than a county court of the state of Idaho--not a Tribal court.