Law

Narragansetts in court over smokeshop raid

Seven members of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island were arraigned in state court over charges stemming from the state's violent raid of the reservation.

On July 14, 2003, state troopers stormed a smokeshop owned by the tribe. They clashed with several tribal members, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, accusing them of resisting arrest, assault and disorderly conduct.

The charges were on hold pending resolution of the tribe's sovereignty case. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the state was within its right to enforce state laws on the reservation.

Although the tribe lost that case, Thomas and the other tribal members may raise a similar defense, their lawyer said. The state, however, claims they shouldn't be treated differently than any other resident.

Get the Story:
Tribal members face assault charges (The Providence Journal 1/24)
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Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe - http://www.narragansett-tribe.org

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