Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Colorado


A federal civil rights agency has cleared an Ignacio police officer of allegations he violated the civil rights of a tribal member he shot in the stomach. Officer Jake Candelaria, 33, shot Clayborn Scott, 43, April 6 after a traffic stop on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation escalated into a fight. Justice's Civil Rights Division said July 12 Candelaria was cleared of any wrongdoing. Earlier he was cleared by an Ignacio Police Department internal investigation. The FBI also investigated the shooting because it took place on tribal land. Police said Candelaria tried to stop Scott for reckless driving, but Scott continued driving to his house outside of the town limits on the reservation. Ignacio officers are justified in following a traffic offender onto the reservation as long as they contact the tribal police department, which Candelaria did, Ignacio Police Chief Kirk Phillips said. Balty Quintana, Ignacio town manager, said tribal police have charged Scott with assault on a police officer. He said Scott could face other charges as well.