This is a problem with sovereignty that should be addressed. What happens when THEIR sovereignty interferes with OUR rights to safety?
The federal agency that regulates Indian casinos warned the Soboba tribe recently that it could be forced to close its casino if violence on the reservation endangers people there.
Phil Hogen, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, confirmed Friday that he and his staff have been talking to the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians in the wake of two law enforcement shootouts on the reservation that left three tribal members dead. (OP: Criminal Tribal Members were shooting weapons, threatening San Jacinto and sheriff's deputies. Deputies defended themselves and citizens of Riverside County from the threat of Soboba Tribal Members)
"We said, 'Hey, we've heard there's been some violence there in the vicinity of the gaming facility,' " Hogen said in a telephone interview. "If it looks like it's going to put life and limb at risk ... closure of the facility might be necessary."
Hogen stressed that the casino is not currently in danger of being closed, and the commission hasn't issued any citations or penalties in connection with the shootouts last month. The commission informed the tribe of the "worst-case scenario," he said. (How worse does it have to get, better tribal marksman?)
The commission has the ability to shut down an Indian casino for safety reasons, but Hogen said it has probably done so only a few times in its 20 years in existence.
Hogen didn't recall any cases similar to the Soboba situation, and he said most of the safety concerns at other casinos have involved building issues, such as inadequate fire protection.
Hogen and staff members from the commission's Temecula office have been communicating with the tribe in the wake of the shootouts, he said.
The commission asked the tribe to clarify a number of issues, including a policy that firefighters and paramedics be escorted by law enforcement when they respond to calls on the reservation, Hogen said.
Cal Fire, which responds to fire calls on the Soboba Reservation, reversed that policy at 8 a.m. Friday and now allows firefighters to respond immediately, said Capt. Fernando Herrera.
"Things have changed, and there have been no incidents for weeks," Herrera said Friday. (yeah, Fernando..like 3 WHOLE weeks!) HERE is the story