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Yakama Nation enters DOJ settlement for reservation raid

The Yakama Nation of Washington reached a settlement with the Department of Justice in connection for a raid on the reservation.

The FBI agreed to notify the tribe before conducting law enforcement activities on the reservation. The provision is consistent with the Yakama Treaty of 1855.

“Today is historic. The United States has agreed to honor the law enforcement protocols set forth in the Yakama Treaty of 1855. That is unprecedented," Chairman Harry Smiskin, a former tribal police chief, said in a press release. “From today forward the FBI will communicate with Tribal Police before they enter Yakama Indian Country. I am confident that the resulting cooperation between federal and tribal cops will greatly improve public safety throughout our territories.”

The tribe sued when the FBI and other law enforcement agents raided King Mountain Tobacco Co., a tribal-licensed business that grows tobacco on the reservation. The FBI notified the tribe's commissioner of public safety via text message -- after the raid already started.

The tribe said the failure to notify violated the treaty, which requires tribal consent before any agents enter the reservation. The only exception is Bureau of Indian Affairs agents, according to the tribe's press release.

The tribe reached settlements with other law enforcement agencies that participated in the raid, which took place in February 2011.

Get the Story:
Yakama Nation and Justice Department Settle Lawsuit Over Raid (KUOW 8/26)
Historic pact: Feds to notify Yakamas of warrant activity (The Yakima Herald-Republic 8/27)

Related Stories:
Yakama Nation settles case over federal raid on reservation (5/30)
Judge allows discovery in Yakama Nation lawsuit over FBI raid (9/13)
Yakama Nation tobacco raid lawsuit includes many defendants (7/18)
Yakama Nation sues federal government over raid of tobacco firm (3/11)
Yakama cigarette firm raided after filing lawsuit against state (2/18)

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