Native Americans Claim Police Rounded Up and Detained Homeless Without Charges
A lawsuit recently filed by members of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes residing on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation claims that police picked up dozens of drunk and homeless Native Americans and detained them without charging or arresting them. The complaint was filed against officials in Wolf Point, Montana, which is situated on the reservation. They allege that officers in Wolf Point, did not arrest or charge any of the people, but just wanted them off streets while a rodeo was in town.
Court documents say that the Wild Horse Stampede and Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Rodeo took place in Wolf Point on July 12 and 13, 2013, the same days that police allegedly packed Native Americans into police vehicles without room to move, and then detained them in a jail’s outdoor basketball court without toilet facilities because jail cells were full. The complaint says that between 30 and 50 people were gathered. The lawsuit says that officers allegedly did this to prevent panhandling during the rodeo, but it also says it was “to curb the American Indian presence.”