Carcieri launches two probes into smokeshop raid
Facebook Twitter Email

Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri (R) on Tuesday ordered two probes into the state police's raid on the smokeshop owned by the Narragansett Tribe.

One is internal state trooper probe. Carcieri said he wants to know why his orders to avoid conflict were seemingly ignored during Monday's raid.

Second, Carcieri will create an independent panel to review the incident and make recommendations. There is no indication whether any tribal representatives, tribal leaders or Indian law experts will be on the panel.

In discussing the raid yesterday, Carcieri appeared to soft criticism of the tribe. Earlier, he had directly blamed Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, who was among those arrested, for the violence.

Col. Steven M. Pare, superintendent of the state police, told The Providence Journal that tribal members provoked the troopers' response. He called the selling of tax-free cigarettes a criminal action.

Carcieri, Thomas and other state and tribal officials had met on Sunday to talk about the smokeshop, The Journal reported. Carcieri said he would consider entering into a tobacco tax compact -- if the tribe closed the facility. Thomas wanted Carcieri to drop his opposition to putting a vote on a proposed casino before state voters.

The dispute heads to two courtrooms today. The state is in state court to seek an injunction against the tribe while the tribe is in federal court to stop the state. Both hearings are occuring at 9 a.m.

Get the Story:
Governor apologizes to those injured (The Providence Journal 7/16)
Col. Pare defends troopers (The Providence Journal 7/16)
Raid came after talks broke down (The Providence Journal 7/16)
Each side looking to history to support its argument (The Providence Journal 7/16)
Username:, Password: indianz
Where There Is Smoke (The Hartford Courant 7/16)
Carcieri apologizes, orders probes (The Woonsocket Call 7/16)
Carcieri Apologizes To Narragansetts (The New London Day 7/16)

Media of the Raid:
Video | Pictures

Relevant Laws:
Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act (US Code)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe -
Rhode Island Governor -
Rhode Island Attorney General -

Related Stories:
R.I. raids Narragansett tribal smoke shop (7/15)
Narragansett Tribe wants to head to federal court (7/15)
Analysis: Carcieri 'paternalistic' on Indians (7/15)
Column: Tribal smokeshop raid something out of 1963 (7/15)
Narragansett chief arrested in 'violent' raid (7/14)
R.I. governor promises to help Narragansett Tribe (06/04)
R.I. tribe upset over reservation checkpoint bill (05/30)
R.I. bill sets up reservation checkpoints (5/28)
R.I. tribe delays opening of tobacco shop (5/23)