Fort Peck Tribes accused of demanding 'Wino Round Up' in 2013

The Fort Peck Tribes Veterans Affairs department participated in the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede in July 2016. Photo from Facebook

Leaders of the Fort Peck Tribes of Montana are accused of orchestrating a "Wino Round Up" in order to keep dozens of people away from the reservation during a popular event.

According to a complaint filed in federal court on Monday, tribal leaders ordered their own officers and those in the city of Wolf Point to get rid of undesirable people ahead of the Wild Horse Stampede in July 2013. At least 31 people -- men and women -- were arrested, detained and held without charges in deplorable conditions 33 miles away in Poplar.

“They didn’t even issue any paperwork. They verbally told the captain of the police, ‘Get them out of sight. Put them anywhere, and don’t charge them,’” Mary Cleland, a tribal member is helping the plaintiffs with the case, which they filed on their own and without the assistance of counsel, told The Great Falls Tribune.

Cleland informed the Bureau of Indian Affairs about the incident and a special agent came to the reservation in April 2014 to investigate, The Wolf Point Herald-News reported at the time. At least 27 victims were interviewed, the paper said.

The BIA agent issued a report on her findings but a full copy hasn't been made public. According to a summary obtained by The Tribune, officers who were ordered to participate in the round up raised concerns that their actions might be violating the civil rights of those who were detained.

The lawsuit names members of the tribal council who were serving on the Fort Peck executive board, local officials in Wolf Point and numerous others as defendants.

Get the Story:
‘Wino Round Up’ in Wolf Point sparks civil rights lawsuit (The Great Falls Tribune 7/13)
Wolf Point Mayor, law enforcement sued for alleged "Wino Roundup" (MTN News 7/13)
Civil rights complaint filed over Fort Peck homeless roundup (AP 7/13)

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