Law

Alaska tribes concerned about police officer brutality complaint






A view of Bethel, Alaska. Photo from Orutsararmiut Native Council

Tribal leaders in Alaska are seeking answers after a Native man was injured in an incident with a police officer in Bethel.

In a July 23 letter to The Delta Discovery, Linda Green said she saw the man being sprayed in the face with some of chemical. She said he was picked up and thrown to the grown by an officer several times.

The man was arrested and charged with unspecified crimes. But he was unable to attend his court hearing because he was in the hospital being treated for his injuries.

The police department said it has opened an investigation into the incident. Tribal leaders in the region are worried that other Native people have been treated in a similar manner.

"As the Tribal Council representing the Native Village of Bethel, we cannot and will not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the cares and concerns of the community we live in," President Gloria Simeon of the Orutsararmiut Native Council said in a press release on the tribe's homepage. "We will not tolerate this violation of basic human rights. Bethel is no place for people who have issues with Native People. We have come too far to allow this type of racism to continue in our community."

The Association of Village Council Presidents sent a letter to Bethel Mayor Joe Klejka, expressing concerns about the incident.

Get the Story:
Tribal Leaders Speak Out on Police Brutality Allegations (KYUK 8/12)
Native leaders address police brutality allegation (The Juneau Empire 8/13)