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The Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal Indian Law
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Narragansett Tribe blocked from state database
Monday, November 17, 2008
Filed Under: Law

The state of Rhode Island won't give the Narragansett Tribe access to a law enforcement database.

Tribal officers must relay their checks to state police officers. In areas of the reservation without cell phone reception, that means some people end up being let go even if they have outstanding warrants.

The tribe is prepared to go to court for access. “They’re not security guards, they’re well-trained officers,” Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas told The Providence Journal. “We’ve asked for this every year for 11 years. There’s no logical reason to deny us.”

The state's Congressional delegation is asking Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) to address the issue but he is waiting for the outcome of a completely-unrelated U.S. Supreme Court case before proceeding.

The tribe's officers receive federal certification from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Get the Story:
Blocked from database (The Providence Journal 11/17)

Supreme Court Documents:
Oral Argument Transcript | Briefs

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