May 22/97: Report of police harassment at Tonawanda


From: Ed
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 08:33:57 (EDT)

Please be advised that on May 20, 1997, a man who shall for safety sake remain nameless was stopped on Rt 63 outside of Akron, NY. The man had made the "error" of stopping at a gas station on the Tonawanda Reservation. He was a non-native and was pulled over by an unmarked NYSP car with two troopers in it. The troopers approached his car and after banging on his door with "batons", ordered him out of his car. When he asked what the problem was, he was again ordered out. After being stood up against his vehicle, one of the troopers began to search the car. When the subject questioned the propriety of this he was told that he was on "their land now" and that "he should be glad that he wasn't being imprisoned for life on charges or treason and aiding and abetting the enemy, since the State of New York was at war with the Indians." He was told that if this were a shooting war that's what would be his fate at this time.

I find myself after interviewing this person face to face, having to believe his statement. I am extremely concerned about the implications of what this means. Aside from the intellectual exercise of outrage and etc. (I'll leave that to others for the moment), I am alarmed that there is a "skunk in the woodpile". From where the gas station is on the rez, one is far out of sight of either border. Either the NYSP have an illegal observer on the rez, or, there is a traitor playing both sides. Also, if the NYSP have been told that there is a war, we've got big problems. I wonder if the NYS higher ups go around with one hand in their waist coat?

I think that we all should redouble our efforts to obtain Federal intervention before the NYSP pull a Pearl Harbor. How much longer before one or more of us disappear? How much more nonsense before someone gets terminally stupid?

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