Appeals court affirms tribal officer authority

The State Court of Appeals has affirmed a Becker County court decision allowing a tribal officer to make a stop and an arrest outside a reservation’s boundaries.

According to court documents, Raymond Bellcourt failed to stop for a school bus with an extended stop-signal arm and flashing lights.

Bellcourt reportedly was driving a pickup truck with a plow attachment and passed the bus, on the right, at a high rate of speed.

His defense appealed that because a White Earth tribal officer arrested him outside the boundaries of the White Earth reservation, the officer was outside his authority.

The courts affirmed that because the tribal office was a state-licensed peace officer, he was acting in the course and scope of his employment.

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