Law

Officers from Pojoaque Pueblo sued for arrest of non-Indian





A non-Indian man is suing two police officers from Pojoaque Pueblo in New Mexico, alleging his arrest was illegal.

Luciano Trujillo was arrested in March 2011 and charged with driving while intoxicated even though his blood alcohol level was lower than the state's limit. He contends his constitutional rights were violated and that the tribal officers targeted him for political reasons.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court. Trujillo is also suing Santa Fe County in state court because the tribal officers were cross-commissioned to arrest non-Indians under an agreement that has since been revoked.

In a different case, the state Court of Appeals in November 2013 ruled that the county isn't required to defend a Pojoaque tribal officer who was operating under the cross-commission agreement.

Get the Story:
Liability for tribal cops questioned (The Albuquerque Journal 12/29)

New Mexico Court of Appeals Decision:
Loya v. Gutierrez (November 13, 2013)

Related Stories:
Lawsuit blames county for arrest by Pojoaque Pueblo officers (3/20)