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Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

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As federal authorities investigate allegations of abuse by the reservation police, a tribal leader said tribal members should have come to him first. "The Fort Hall Business Council is seriously concerned any time tribal members feel their civil rights have been violated," Chairman Lionel Boyer wrote in a statement. Some 40 tribal members and a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based organization, The Center for Human Rights and Indian Law, announced allegations to the public the last two weeks of March. They alleged more than 35 years of abuse and brutality of elderly, middle-aged and juvenile residents by tribal police officers. Boyer said members could have taken their complaints to tribal courts, a police oversight commission or the council. "We are committed to a sustained effort toward improving the system of justice on the reservation. Our tribal court is available for individuals to use to seek remedies for violations of civil rights." The complaints, however, also allege those organizations all are corrupt and would do nothing to halt the abuse.

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