Law
County warned against Blackfeet police deal
Commissioners in Glacier County, Montana, ignored the advice of the county attorney when they approved a law enforcement deal with the Blackfeet Nation.

The commissioners signed the deal on August 6. But a day before, county attorney Larry Epstein sent then an e-mail that raised objections to the agreement.

"Nothing about that cross deputy agreement drafted by the Tribe's legal counsel or my opinion of same has changed," Epstein wrote, according to The Glacier Reporter. "I advise, strongly, against signing it."

The agreement, hailed as historic, allows tribal officers to enforce state law against non-Indians and county deputies to enforce tribal law on the reservation. It is only temporary while the tribe and the county work on a permanent cross-deputization arrangement.

Epstein was at the center of controversy last year when he declined to file hate crimes charges against three white males who were accused of beating up county commissioner Ron Rides at the Door, a Blackfeet tribal member. Rides at the Door signed the law enforcement agreement.

Get the Story:
Commissioners ignore County Attorney's advice (The Glacier Reporter 8/12)
Four deputies, undersheriff claim temporary agreement discriminates against them (The Glacier Reporter 8/12)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Legal issues for Blackfeet policing (8/11)
Blackfeet Nation signs law enforcement deal (8/7)
Delay for Blackfeet Nation law enforcement deal (7/21)
Blackfeet Nation reaches law enforcement deal (7/17)
Editorial: Progress on Blackfeet law enforcement (7/16)
Blackfeet Nation reaches law enforcement deal (7/15)
US Attorney in Montana seeks more crime data (7/13)

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