Tribe declares state of emergency in response to rising crime rates
President Frank Star Comes Out's declaration cites high crime rates in number of categories
The president of a Native American tribe in western South Dakota is declaring a state of emergency in response to high crime rates.
Oglala Sioux Tribal President Frank Star Comes Out published a seven-page emergency declaration over the weekend – using it to highlight a lack of federal support from Washington bureaucracies, who he holds primarily responsible for the tribe’s crime problem.
Federal law enforcement agencies are primarily responsible for providing law enforcement on the roughly 3,500 square mile reservation, according to federal and tribal law.
“The Secretary of the Interior and BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) officials have failed to even request sufficient federal funds each year to provide adequate law and order on the Reservation in fulfillment of the United States treaty, statutory and common law trust responsibility to provide adequate law and order,” wrote Comes Out.
Gun and drug crimes, rapes and murders have become even more common in recent years, in what was already regarded as one of the most dangerous places in the country. Data from 2022 show that murders on the reservation are twice the national average, robberies three times, and rapes four times.
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