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)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe -

Related Stories:
Column: Smokeshop raid still burns years later (1/23)
Narragansett smokeshop case delayed a week (01/15)
State revives Narragansett smokeshop case (12/19)
Narragansett chief meets with Rhode Island governor (12/13)
Narragansett Tribe faces action on smokeshop (12/12)
High court rejects state raid, land claim (11/28)
Supreme Court won't hear land-into-trust cases (10/3)
Court subjects Narragansett Tribe to all state laws (05/25)
Appeals court hears tribal-state sovereignty dispute (12/07)
Narragansett Tribe back in court over sovereignty (12/6)
Rhode Island set to appeal trust land decision (09/16)
Trust land challenge rejected by appeals court (9/14)
Appeals court agrees to rehear sovereignty case (07/11)
Tribal sovereignty must be respected, court rules (05/13)
Appeals court sides with tribe in trust land dispute (02/10)
R.I. tribe takes smokeshop case to higher court (01/27)
State's raid on tribal land sparks strong reactions (07/16)
R.I. to appeal Narragansett land-into-trust case (10/1)
Judge affirms Narragansett Tribe land-into-trust (9/30)
State's raid on tribal land sparks strong reactions (07/16)
R.I. escalates fight over tribal smoke shop (07/15)
Narragansett chief arrested in 'violent' raid (7/14)
R.I. governor promises to help Narragansett Tribe (06/04)
R.I. tribe upset over reservation checkpoint bill (05/30)
R.I. bill sets up reservation checkpoints (5/28)
R.I. tribe delays opening of tobacco shop (5/23)