Good debate on proposed sentences for threatening Navajo Nation police officer

Trying to catch up with Naabi, which is quickly moving through agenda. So far the Committee has approved LEGISLATION 0140-14, which confirmed the appoint of Jason John, who is with the Navajo Branch of Water Management, as the Navajo Nation’s representative to the “Ten Tribes Partnership” and as “Trustee to the Colorado River Water Users Association,” with a VOTE of 13 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED.

Naabi also approved LEGISLATION 0154-14, which approves an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Navajo Nation and San Juan County Utah to repair, maintain, and improve road projects for the safety and general benefits of Utah and Navajo Nation residents and travelers with a VOTE of 12 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED.

They bypassed LEGISLATION 0162-14, which authorizing the Navajo Division of Transportation to enter into a revocable permit, approved by the Hopi Tribe, to conduct preliminary studies for design and construction of N8031 access road and bridge, and supporting the preservation of planning funds allocated to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region for necessary studies, surveys and design relation to N8031, because its Sponsor, Delegate Dwight Witherspoon is absent.

Naabi is now on LEGISLATION 0161-14LEGISLATION 0161-14, which the Committee heard a report on earlier today. 0161-14 would amend the sentencing provisions of the tribal criminal code.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
These amendments that call for mandatory jail sentence for Navajo individuals assaulting, threatening police officer could put a person in jail for “menacing conduct” against an officer.
PEACE officers have everything to protect themselves, a gun, a vest. Because what could happen, if a Navajo person “nudges” an officer, that individual could be jailed for 365 days, just for nudging. I could understand if citizen strikes officer.
And some chapter officials have reported that they were assaulted which includes Grazing Official. And so I’d like to have that added to criminal code.
Look at Farmington, they use Navajos as “target practice” at Wal-Mart. Where were police when our Navajo people were beaten to death in Albuquerque.
And there were Albuquerque police that were abusing citizens.
You should not be charged for mandatory sentence for citizen asking to look at radar when officer stops them for speeding and officer usually gets upset and then discussion happens and officer gets upset. So recommend only allow battery. Delete aggravated assault but keep battery upon peace officer so citizen forewarned that you can stomp your feet but you can strike officer.

DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
wen we heard report, some delegates said need more officers and police substations so how do we recruit officers if we cannot provide them safety. Two officers eating lunch in Seattle and two people killed them. We say they have all the protection they need, they have guns. anyone who assaults our police, need to be held responsible and not with just two days in jail.

DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
My sister, Sylvia Laughter, would like to comment.

DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
if this is allowed then this opens the gate for constituents to speak.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
Wat happened in Seattle was terrorists and that shouldn’t be used to compare what is happening here. And if there is no objection to constituents speaking then we shud not threaten.
Wat bothers me is a mandatory sentence for threatening a police. And these amendments are being bullied through. We asked for information. This is not democracy. And we are using police officers as conduit. We shud debate sentences cuz it deals with citizens.

DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
I’m not threatening.

DELEGATE SYLVIA LAUGHTER
As former Arizona State Representative, committees allowed public to speak and why asked to speak. i think the citizens shud be able to express feelings. I had personal experience that has caused me to have strong feelings about this. My daughter was in high school and unknowingly, someone put concoction in her drink and police were called on her. She didn’t know that she assaulted police. And it was our responsibility to prove. Wat i have are pictures of her being assaulted by police. she had bruises on her body. i was furious. with all due respect to Delegate Shepherd and others, i appreciate your intentions, but i am concerned about approving legislation that cud put us in jail. some homeless have mental problems and drinking and they cud move towards police and that cud be used against them. So how cud us use Ke and put our people in jail. there is no consistency there. which law are we going to abide by. i like tribe cuz we try to make sensible choices. i strongly oppose this with all due respect. i ask you to consider future serious impacts. arizona has so many laws now. is that what tribe wants. and to leave laws open to interpretation is dangerous.

VOTE ON AMENDMENT ONE, 6 IN FAVOR, 6 OPPOSED. SPEAKER PRO TEMP BATES VOTES “YES” SO VOTE IS 7 IN FAVOR, 6 OPPOSED TO DELETE PROPOSED LANGUAGE FOR MANDATORY SENTENCING OF INDIVIDUAL THREATENING POLICE OFFICER.

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