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.

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