Friday, February 7, 2014

Tribal Disenrollment: Grand Jury Indictment in Berry Creek Rancheria Takeover

A Grand Jury indictment was unsealed today in Butte County Superior Court against 24 people allegedly involved in a takeover and vandalism last May at the Tyme Maidu Tribal Offices at Gold Country Casino, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Each of the defendants faces a charge of felony vandalism causing damage over $400, but three of the defendants face other allegations.
Of the 24 people named in the indictment, 21 were arraigned today before Judge Tamara Mosbarger.
The other three people named did not appear in court, and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
Nineteen of the defendants were arrested during the initial incident. Five others were not at the scene.
The indictments stem from an incident May 16, 2013, where 19 people locked and barricaded themselves inside the tribal offices for nearly 12 hours, reportedly over the tribe's disenrolling some individuals.
The Grand Jury met for two days last month hearing testimony and evidence in the case, according to District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
Ramsey told this newspaper there was considerable surveillance video footage of incident. He said video reportedly shows four people who drove pickups to the site with tools, lumber and chicken wire before the standoff began.
Another defendant allegedly worked on the inside and provided the group with a key.
The Grand Jury also heard testimony about a claim that the group sought to take over the Gold Country Casino and related bank accounts, Ramsey said.


Anonymous said...

It's to bad that disenrollment has come to this ! These tribes have done this to themselves and for the greater part the policies are so unfair. All three tribes in Oroville are related to at least someone in the other two tribes. How can they kick out their families. All 3 have proven that they are doing this for personal reasons. Maybe the tribal councils need to be investigated by a grand jury and we would see who the snakes really are.

Anonymous said...

And of course the grand jury is ready indict individuals who are fighting illegal disenrollments and to ignore the fact that they have been driven to these actions as a last resort.

Anonymous said...

This article is extremely misleading and the journalist and the District Attorney should be held accountable for a lot of inflammatory statements. What will come out at trial is that not only did the individuals in the protest not commit violence against any persons, they also did not bring bats into the building as alluded to. The bats were already on scene in the building. Additionally, Ramsey likes to point out only 4 dis-enrolled people were involved as if to suggest that it was actually a low number but what you will find is not only were there 58 total dis-enrolled in this specific vote but several other families were also removed prior to this event. Furthermore, Ramsey likes to foreshadow with using the phrase "potentially violent" but fails to recognize that not only did the individuals inside the building consistently keep in contact with law enforcement, but they also weren't the ones responsible for barricading the community, beating up youth, and cursing and harassing media outside. Those against the protest that supported dis-enrollment were the violent offenders and in fact committed all the pre-mentioned acts in front of law enforcement officers on scene. Several people within the community contacted the Butte County Sheriff's office dispatch and were misguided and not assisted at all. Several individuals on scene asked for assistance from law enforcement to leave the premises to get to work and also when the youth were being attacked and law enforcement refused to assist. All under the great watchful eye of the DA! Wow! What a guy! Furthermore, the DA alludes to the group taking over the Casino and bank accounts; however, nothing occurred at the Casino, no instructions were given there, business was not interrupted, and furthermore, nothing was directed to the bank about accounts. No computers were damaged either as alluded to. The one set of double doors that was severely damaged was done by law enforcement officers entering the building. What they found were peaceful protestors, unarmed, and cooperative. What this shows is that the District Attorney Mike Ramsey and all those involved in the tribe that support dis-enrollment believe people that are being trampled on for years and helplessly watching as their families are being torn apart, their elders being kicked to the curb and their children being denied access to the same cultural home that their ancestors fought to give them should just shut-up and take it. REALLY? I thought we learned from all of our legislative battles that we have to fight for the rights that we believe are ours. People do need to be held accountable here but not all those the DA seeks to prosecute. Felonies? Really? You are going to scar people for the rest of their lives because they chose to stand-up for their families, friends, their heritage that was being dismantled. When we support this type of travesty in our own community and choose to look the other way, we are saying that people should not fight for their rights. We are saying it is okay to let people use hate to persuade others to take away inherent rights. Is sovereignty inherent? Maybe tribes like this should lose their federal recognition status as they clearly don't understand why they are afforded rights through the OFA and the 7 criteria in the first place. Court cases are not about slinging mud and trying to see what sticks DA Ramsey. You also made choices by taking this case on and all of your involvement leading up to and after this will also be held accountable. Let's just see how your election year goes.