A federal judge has ruled that non-tribal law enforcement officers have authority over Yakama Nation tribal members on the reservation in some cases that involve non-Indian suspects and victims.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice denied the Yakama Nation an injunction last Friday that would have barred state authorities from assuming jurisdiction over Yakama members.
The reservation is a checkerboard of tribal and non-tribal land and a mixture of Native American and non-Indian residents.
Police jurisdiction has always been confusing and often was determined by where a crime took place — on tribal or non-tribal land.
Last year, the Yakimas sued the reservation town of Toppenish for arresting a Yakama member and searching another Yakama member's home in connection with an auto theft.