Rosebud police chief resigns

Rapid City, South Dakota (AP) 4-08

The chief of police for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has resigned, effective at the end of April.

Charles Red Crow declined to comment on his resignation, which comes in the wake of a controversy over the dismissal of nearly 300 criminal cases in tribal court.

The cases were tossed out in a controversy over the authority of tribal police officers.

Two officers were reportedly fired, and a tribal official says Red Crow indicated he is resigning for family reasons. But the tribal official says he believes the police chief is quitting to avoid being fired.

The tribal public defender says police officers have not followed tribal law in applying for their commissions as police.

Tribal President Rodney Bordeaux confirmed that Red Crow resigned at a meeting Friday.

“He’s been a good officer,” Bordeaux said. “I hate to lose him.”

But James Henry, chairman of the tribe’s judiciary committee, said Red Crow should have been fired “on the spot” because of the issue over the police commission cards.

Nearly 300 cases had been dismissed in tribal court as of last week because of complaints that Rosebud Sioux police had not followed a tribal ordinance in applying for their commissions, according to chief prosecutor Khara Iverson.

Last week, Red Crow said the officers had met all training requirements for the commission cards and all were operating in good faith that they were duly commissioned.

He said the tribal ordinance requires reapplying for the commissions every two years but that some officers did not renew their applications after that period because a previous tribal chairman issued cards on an indefinite basis.

The cases dismissed involved offenses such as drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance, Iverson said, adding that none of the cases involved victims.

Henry said his committee is coming up with a plan to correct problems and bolster law enforcement and the judiciary on the Rosebud reservation.