Column: Bad blood over Narragansett raid
"I had no problem with the jury’s conviction earlier this month of Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas and two other tribal members on misdemeanor charges stemming from the raid on their tax-free operation.

It seemed a close call, and if the jurors thought Thomas was guilty of assaulting a trooper, I don’t quarrel with them.

Ditto for the conviction of Tribal Councilman Hiawatha Brown for assault and disorderly conduct and First Councilman Randy Noka for disorderly conduct.

Nor do I quarrel with the acquittal of these defendants and others on other charges.

In comments as well as by their votes, jurors made clear that they thought at least three of the Narragansetts acted improperly.

If the convictions are not overturned in a new trial or on appeal, those found guilty stand to pay a price for their actions.

But what about the state?

Juror John A. Cassidy III said in an April 5 Providence Journal story that he was shocked by the raid. Speaking with reporter Katie Mulvaney, Cassidy called it an “awful, awful attack,” said he didn’t believe the testimony of most state troopers and planned to join other jurors in asking members of Congress to press to find out why Lynch did not charge any of the state police."

Get the Story:
M. Charles Bakst: Issues surrounding smoke shop trial aren’t settled (The Providence Journal 4/27)

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