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Narragansett chief reflects on raid of smoke shop

With the two-year anniversary approaching, the chief sachem of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island reflected on the state's raid of the tribe's smoke shop.

Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas was among those arrested On July 14, 2005, by state troopers "It was just about the worst day of our lives," he told The Chariho Times.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled that the state violated the tribe's sovereignty by forcing its way onto the reservation. The court said the state can force the tribe to collect taxes on tobacco products, but only on tobacco sold to non-Indians.

Thomas said the tribe plans to reopen the smoke shop pending further action. The state has asked for a rehearing and the case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Get the Story:
Smoke Shop raid was Thomas' "Worst Day" (The Chariho Times 7/7)

Court Ruling:
Narragansett Tribe v. Rhode Island (May 12, 2005)

More on the Raid:
Video | Text: Gov. Carcieri's July 14 Press Conference | Text: Gov. Carcieri's July 15 Statement | Text: Excerpts of Narragansett Chief Sachem July 14 Press Conference

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

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe -
Smoke Shop Showdown -

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