Supreme Court upholds tribal police in traffic stop, search

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that tribal police officers can stop and search non-Indians on tribal lands for potential violations of state or federal law.

The justices on Tuesday unanimously reversed an appellate ruling in favor of a non-Native motorist who was charged with drug-related crimes after a tribal officer searched his pickup truck on a public road that crosses the Crow reservation in Montana.

The Supreme Court has previously held that tribal police have little authority over non-Indians, but Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that allowing a temporary stop and detention, so that state or federal authorities can be called in, enhances public safety.

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