Supreme Court affirms Red Lake officer acted within authority

The state’s highest court has affirmed that Red Lake Tribal Police officers have the authority to arrest and expel those being unlawful within the reservation’s boundaries.

In an opinion published today by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the decision affirmed that a Red Lake officer acted within his authority when he arrested Randy Thompson in 2017 for driving under the influence, and transferred him at the reservation boundary to a Beltrami County Sheriff’s deputy.

Thompson’s defense argued and appealed that a Red Lake Officer is not a Minnesota Peace Officer under statute, therefore the arrest and evidence obtained by the so-called unlawful arrest should have been thrown out.

The district court, Appeals Court and now Supreme Court have rejected this argument.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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