Law | Federal Recognition

Shinnecock Nation looks to better relationship with local police

Leaders of the newly recognized Shinnecock Nation are hoping to improve their relationship with local police, calling a recent pursuit onto the reservation disrespectful to the tribe.

The Shinnecock Warrior Society was holding a gathering on Friday, March 4, when a police car from Southampton Village showed up. An officer had been pursuing a man who fled onto the reservation and the situation caused a disturbance.

"We are damn upset about it," trustee Lance Gumbs, who was called to the scene, told The Southampton Press.

Four tribal members, including Gumbs' son, were later arrested in connection with the incident. "If anything, the Village Police obstructed a tribal meeting that was going on up here," Gumbs told the paper.

A few days later, village police abandoned a pursuit of a different man on the reservation. "Going forward, there definitely has to be more dialogue between the Nation and various entities so we can get on the same page," Gordell Wright, another trustee, told the paper.

The tribe gained federal recognition last year but its reservation is not held in trust. The state recognizes the reservation but exercises criminal and civil jurisdiction on it.

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Shinnecock Indian Nation Leaders Upset Over Recent Arrests (The Southampton Press 3/23)

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