Overkill on the rez

Bear Lincoln, who lives on the Round Valley Indian reservation, has reason to fear the cops. Lincoln was the subject of a massive manhunt in 1995 after a gunfight he was involved in ended with a cop and Lincoln’s best friend dead. He spent two years in jail awaiting trial, only to be freed in 1997 after his acquittal. Now he’s back in jail, and his allies say he might be the victim of a law-enforcement vendetta, because local cops in Covelo, Calif. believe Lincoln, despite the acquittal, is a cop killer who got away with it.

Lincoln was arrested March 21 on suspicion of shooting into another house on the reservation and recklessly endangering a child inside. Shootings like this have happened with regularity on the reservation — where inter-clan feuds are common and long-standing — without any police investigations. No one was hurt in the incident, but still about 20 officers, some decked out in SWAT-team regalia, converged on Round Valley when they heard Lincoln was the suspect.


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