CRST suing Trump, other officials over checkpoints

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CRST suing Trump, other officials over checkpoints

A sign warns travelers on Highway 20 north of Timber Lake to be prepared to stop at the CRST COVID checkpoint.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe filed a federal lawsuit last Monday, June 22, accusing a high-ranking Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staffer and other Trump administration officials of unlawfully threatening to take over its police department as part of ongoing efforts to stop the tribe’s coronavirus highway checkpoints.

BIA Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney threatened to seize a tribal law enforcement contract as retaliation for so-called health safety checkpoints on US Route 212 and South Dakota Highway 63, says the 38-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In doing so, it alleges, Sweeney violated the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act as well as federal trust duties.

Threats to the police force and the tribe’s overall COVID-19 response plan represent “unlawful infringement on tribal self-government and self-determination and put the tribe’s members at risk of imminent harm,” the tribe contends in the complaint







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