Editorial: A questionable protest at Leech Lake
"A tribal election soon approaches on the Leech Lake Reservation — we can tell as the misinformation campaign kicks in gear and a concerted effort to discredit the current administration rolls on.

A protest organized Friday by the American Indian Movement in front of the Leech Lake Department of Public Safety sought the resignation of three Leech Lake police officers and Chief Steven Day amid allegations that police Tasered and beat a 17-year-old boy near Ball Club at 5:30 a.m. March 1.

Reports of the incident don’t back up the allegations, but nonetheless each complaint needs to be investigated.

The matter clearly was not a Tribal Council issue, and should have remained in the Police Department, working through channels. But this is an election year.

So AIM was called from the Twin Cities, whose representative rushed up to Cass Lake to lead a protest against brutality and “that these are non-native officers doing this.” Obviously, had he checked the facts, he would have found out that American Indian officers were involved. We’re sure no one made that inquiry before deciding to protest. In fact, that’s what our reporter was doing — checking the allegations with police inside the building, while the protesters called our offices several times wondering where our reporter was.

Even more telling, once a television reporter from Lakeland News packed up and left, so did the small throng of protesters. They got their coverage, but stained their credibility.

It must be a tribal election year."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Protests sure sign of tribal elections soon (The Bemidji Pioneer 3/12)