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Law enforcement agency explains changes from Supreme Court tribal ruling

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:25 PM CDT
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JOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - Last week the Supreme Court ruled the Muscogee Creek Nation’s boundaries are still Indian territory, citing a treaty from the late 1800s.

“So right now that decision is only affecting the Muscogee Creek Nation. There was a lot of misinformation out there that it was for all the 5 civilized tribes,” said Johnston County Undersheriff, Gary Dodd.

The 5 civilized tribes are the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, Cherokee, and Muscogee Creek Nations.

Dodd does expect in the near future, a similar rule in favor of the other 4 tribes, but for now, things will stay the same.

“With what we perceive to be changes coming, Native Americans in Indian territory will no longer fall underneath the purview of the state,” said Dodd.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office will still be responsible for responding to calls for Natives and non-natives. The decision will only affect where you answer for your crime.

“There are a lot of questions outside the criminal justice aspect of this, whether it be taxes, property rights, business rights, is the medical marijuana industry still going to be legal here,” said Dodd.

All of which Dodd says haven’t been answered yet.

“But as far as the criminal justice side of it is concerned, it’s pretty well laid out how Natives and non-natives are held accountable in Indian country,” said Dodd.

Previous cases with the state would not be automatically thrown out because of the order.

“We fully expect for paperwork to be filed and that they appeal to courts basically stating that the state has no jurisdiction over them,” said Dodd.

He says 1 tribal member has already filed an appeal, and they expect more as future decisions are made.

More information from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office can be found here.

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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