California Native American Tribal Leaders Outraged by Police Raid

July 16, 2003

Source: Pechanga.Net

On July 16, 2003 Pechanga.Net reported that "California tribal leaders are outraged at the violent behavior Rhode Island State Police displayed July 14 in raiding the Narragansett Indian Tribe’s smoke shop... The raid left several tribal leaders, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, bruised and bloodied. Six troopers wrestled Chief Thomas to the dirt and handcuffed him before he was led away. Eight people were treated at a local hospital... The Narragansett raid stemmed from an ongoing dispute over the Narragansetts' status as a federally recognized nation with sovereign rights. It heated up further when the tribe announced plans to open a tax-free tobacco shop against the state's wishes. The tribe delayed its opening this spring, at the governor's request."